Saudi Arabia is reportedly ready to take over Formula 1 from current commercial rights holder Liberty Media according to a report from Switzerland’s Blick.
Veteran F1 journalist Roger Benoit, a close friend of former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, claims that Liberty Media is losing interest in Formula 1 which it took over from CVC Capital Partners and Ecclestone in 2017.
“The Americans seem to have lost interest in their multibillion-dollar toy,” writes Benoit. “Ironically, the Saudis are now at the door with their suitcases for a takeover from the Americans.”
The so-called ‘bombshell’ report, sketchy at best, offers no insight or clarity on a potential timeline of events or how a deal would be structured and with whom.
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Benoit, who contends – rather incorrectly – that F1 hasn’t evolved much since its takeover by Liberty, says a Saudi ownership of the sport would inevitably result in more F1 races taking place in the Asian, or Middle-Eastern, region.
Bahrain and Abu Dhai have been fixtures on the F1 calendar for years, while Saudi Arabia itself will make its grand entry into the world championship later this year in early December with a race staged in Jeddah.
Furthermore, as F1 struggles to uphold its original 23-race schedule following the cancellation of several races due to the global Covid pandemic, Qatar has put itself on the ranks to host a race this year, possibly filling a late November slot that remains open on F1’s 2021 calendar.
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