Will the Saudis buy Formula 1 for 20 billion? The head of the FIA ​​warns of the consequences

FIA president Mohammed bin Sulayem has referred to as for a concrete plan after rumors swirled that Saudi Arabia was planning to buy Formula One for $20 billion.

Recently, the information company “Bloomberg” created a sensation in the Formula 1 world. Saudi Arabia is excited by shopping for Liberty Media’s top quality by way of its sovereign wealth fund PIF (Public Investment Fund).

There is speak of a US$20 billion (about €18.4 billion) provide, which Liberty has rejected. The numbers and Saudi curiosity haven’t been formally confirmed, however the FIA ​​has now commented on the rumours.

(*20*) Mohammed bin Sulayem tweeted on Monday that the FIA ​​was “cautious” about the $20 billion price ticket given to Formula 1.

He does not title particular names, however writes: “Any potential purchaser ought to be cheap and think about the larger good of the sport and have a transparent, sustainable plan – not only a lot of cash.”

Bin Sulayem mentioned the alleged provide was “extreme”.

“It is our responsibility to think about the future influence on the promoters in phrases of greater racing charges and different industrial prices and any unfavourable influence it could have on followers,” mentioned the FIA ​​president.

Liberty Media purchased Formula 1 in 2017 for $4.4 billion, so if the reported numbers are appropriate, it might virtually quintuple the worth at the moment. Bin Sulayem fears that the new house owners will recoup the cash elsewhere.

The FIA ​​president instructed English-language publication Motorsport.com about the proposed proposal: “To be sincere, I believe so. [die Zahl] extreme. This is an exaggeration. Common sense utilization: is [die Formel 1] Is it that a lot?”

Someone who pays that a lot for a product will in some locations make it dearer “to get the a reimbursement,” he explains. For instance, promoters could pay even greater charges to Formula 1 to host a race in the future.

“I have a look at the proof, the logic behind it. Because you want a plan,” he says of potential consumers, explaining, “For now, it is only a rumor. But I believe the FIA ​​ought to be half of these negotiations or advise them.”

Not simply cash to a possible purchaser

“Because the FIA ​​owns the championship,” he famous. However, the world motoring affiliation bought the industrial rights to Formula One in 2001, then beneath Max Mosley, for a cool US$300 million in a one-off 100-year deal.

For Bin Sulayem, the relationship doesn’t match right here. “If I had $20 billion [für die Formel 1] then I believe the FIA ​​fell quick,” he says, referring to the sale of industrial rights to Bernie Ecclestone at the time.

“It does not make any sense when you consider the numbers,” he insists, including that he additionally desires “readability” on how Formula 1 will proceed. Because a possible purchaser should carry a plan “not simply cash”.

Saudi Arabia’s PIF beforehand owned English soccer membership Newcastle United, and lately WWE was rumored to be excited by shopping for the world’s greatest wrestling league.

So far, neither Formula 1 nor Saudi Arabia have formally commented on the hypothesis about the sale of the premier class.

This article was written by Ruben Zimmermann, co-authors: Jonathan Noble, Tom Howard

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