F1 is in another boom time. Viewing figures together with the number of promoters wishing to add new events to the calendar justifies the alleged $8bn Liberty media paid CVC to acquire the sport’s commercial rights.
Bernie Ecclestone took the sport from a shambolic bunch of arguing teams who were racing in fields, to being a global powerhouse in the world of sport.
Yet Ecclestone’s model was to finance it all by charging ever-higher prices to the promoters and the TV companies. He believed scarcity made F1 more desirable. Whether he would agree 30 races a year are possible as did Stefano Dominicali recently, probably not.
Liberty Media’s CEO confirmed yesterday to Associated Press that “there’s a lot of demand” to either purchase existing F1 teams or see the grid expanded to more than 10 teams.
Greg Maffei also revealed a number of teams are against expansion because it will reduce their share of the profit. “We’ll look at that over time and see what they can add, and we’ll try to build a consensus among the teams and the FIA about who to bring in and what qualifications they need,” added Mffei.
Around the start of the season there were rumours that Andretti Globa were in advanced talks to buy Sauber. Andretti now confirms why the deal fell apart.
“It fell apart because all of a sudden, they changed the terms and they wanted to control everything. They wanted veto power on every decision. They changed that two days before the deal was supposed to be signed. So, I don’t give a crap what anyone says, we were never going to do a deal in which we bought the team but didn’t have control of the team.”
Following the collapse of talks with the Swiss based outfit, Michael’s father Mario tweeted,
“Michael has applied to the FIA to field a new F1 team starting in 2024. His entry, Andretti Global, has the resources and checks every box. He is awaiting the FIA’s determination.”
Whether the ex-McLaren driver can get his name back on the F1 grid, is unclear at present