Who and how soon will F1 have new ownership?
Could be sold by 2016
Berine Ecclestone says that Formula One could be sold by the end of 2015 o three interested interest in buying the sport.
In a telephone call to the Camp Beckenbauer Global Summit in Kitzbuehel Ecclestone said “Our shareholders at the moment are basically in such a position where they have to lose some of their shares, or all of them, shortly.”
The 84-year old said there has been a lot of interest from three parties and he would be “surprised if one of them don’t buy very shortly.” He says the time frame for the sale will be by the end of the year.
CVC Capital Partners are currently the controlling shareholders with a 35.5 percent stake, while Ecclestone holds 5.3 percent. Other shareholders include investment groups BlackRock and Waddell & Reed, along with Norway’s Norges Bank, are among other shareholders.
In June it was reported that RSE Ventures with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, was teaming up with Qatar Sports Investments to buy CVC’s stake in a potential $7 billion-$8 billion deal.
Ecclestone said in July that “lots of people have made approaches” and indicated he too might be interested in a takeover or buyout.
With Mercedes dominating plus the struggles of Renault and Honda how long will it take to catch up with the leaders?
Renault and Honda will catch up
Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost believes that Renault and Honda will reduce their performance deficit to the front-running Mercedes and Ferrari power units next season.
The team are currently looking for a new engine partner after their relationship and big team Red Bull broke down leaving them currently without an engine supplier. Speaking to Formula1.com Tost said he is expecting them to be much closer.
He said “If not then the FIA has to look into the [engine development] token story so that everybody who is behind gets extra development freedom until we have parity. But as I just said, I am sure that those behind will catch up, at the latest by 2017”
Tost says parting with Renault is the right thing to do as they hope they can return to Ferrari power after two years with the French manufacturer. Renault could only supply one team next year if they complete a take over of Lotus.
Force India and Sauber have called for an investigation into the governance of the sport but what impact will it have on them?
Facing repercussions – Fernley
Bob Fernley is accepting the risk that Force India and Sauber may face repercussions after they made a complaint to the European Commission about the governance and payment structure.
The teams claim that the sports “system of dividing revenues and determining how Formula 1 rules are set is both unfair and unlawful.” Under the treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that prohibit anti-competitive agreements and the abuse of dominant market positions.
The commissioner Margrethe Vestager will decide by the end of the year whether there is a case to answer. Fernley Force India’s deputy team principal is expecting fall out whatever the outcome with commercial rights holders CVC Capital Partners, understood to be unhappy.
He said “We’re big boys, we know what the risks are. Will there be repercussions? Probably, in due course.” Adding “But if you feel strongly about something and you’re not prepared to take care of your own convictions then you shouldn’t be doing it.”
Fernley says they was little option to close the playing field to the big four Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren. He said “It was a very, very hard decision to have to take.”
Why has a the managing director of Silverstone Patrick Allen used strong language to describe the sport and what impact will it have?
The managing director of Silverstone Patrick Allen has described formula One as a ‘s*** product’ which is becoming increasingly difficult to sell to fans.
The race fee for 2016-21 will increase by five percent to £16 million next year after being delayed by a year with a further five percent rise for 2022-26 which could impact the circuit hard. This year’s race 120,000 ticks were sold breaking the record.
He told the Independent “As a promoter I can only promote what you give me and if that isn’t up to standard, people aren’t going to buy.” Saying he has already raised the issue with Ecclestone.
He says “that people don’t come to watch guys looking at data screens. Fans want to see gladiators racing and fighting it out in a fair fight. Nobody wants to hear drivers getting told to ‘lift’, ‘coast’ or ‘we’re not going to catch the guy in front, settle for second’.”
He says it is criminal that the state of racing and that is not saleable.
That’s all from this edition of Reporters