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Formula 1 Sold to U.S. Media Conglomerate for $8 Bil

Race czar Ecclestone planning to remain CEO.

by on Sep.08, 2016

Despite a limited US presence, Formula One has been sold to Colorado's Liberty Media.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. Though the exclusive Formula One race series has been sold to a U.S. media conglomerate, at least one thing will stay the same: controversial CEO Bernie Ecclestone will remain the CEO of the powerful motor sports empire.

But whether there could be other changes in store remains to be seen now that the Colorado-based Liberty Media Group has purchased F1 for $8 billion. One of the big questions is whether Liberty will take steps to increase the popularity of Formula One in the U.S. market where interest lags compared to Europe and many other parts of the world.

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“We are excited to become part of Formula One,” said Greg Maffei, the CEO of Liberty Media. “We think our long-term perspective and expertise with media and sports assets will allow us to be good stewards of Formula One and benefit fans, teams and our shareholders.”


F1 – From Track to Street

As the racing series evolves, your car soon could share parts with a Formula One racer.

by on Nov.06, 2014

Formula One teams virtually redesign their cars "every two weeks," creating significant opportunities to develop tech breakthroughs.

While Formula One remains the world’s most popular motorsport series, it’s come in for sharp criticism this year as a result of rules changes that, among other things, have tamed the traditionally ear-shattering screech of an F1 racer’s engine.

Ironically, the changes may have a positive payoff for the automakers who sponsor many of the series’ teams – and the consumers who buy their products. If anything, the result is that it’s becoming more likely that the technology used by the latest Formula One cars will help improve tomorrow’s street vehicles.

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If anything, “For the first time, Formula One is following” what’s happening on public roads, suggested Tommaso Volpe, Global Director of Formula One at Infiniti Motor Co. Ltd., the maker’s F1 operation which several years ago partnered with the championship-winning Red Bull team.


Bernie Ecclestone Buys His Way to Freedom for $100 Mil

German court drops bribery charges.

by on Aug.06, 2014

The 83-year-old Bernie Ecclestone maintains the presumption of innocence, says the German court.

What’s the price of freedom? Apparently, $100 million, at least for Bernie Ecclestone, the controversial boss of the Formula One race series who has been able to convince German prosecutors to halt his bribery trial in return for that hefty fee.

The 83-year-old Ecclestone has long been at the center of rumors and innuendo suggesting shady dealings but only last April went on trial on charges that he paid a former German banker a US$44 million bribe to help him gain control of the F1 series eight years ago.

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Ecclestone has wielded his power ruthlessly in the world of motorsports, beating down several attempts to shift control by some of the larger teams, including Ferrari. In the process, the one-time used car salesman has become a billionaire many times over.


Germany’s Legendary Nurburgring May Close

F1’s Ecclestone may step in with rescue.

by on Jul.23, 2012

A pair of camouflaged Cadillacs undergoing testing on the Nurburgring's brutal Nordschliefe.

Short of Indy’s brickyard perhaps no race track in the world is as well-known as the German Nurburgring. But the challenging course could soon see its last race.

Dating back to the 1920s, the long and challenging circuit has been regularly used for a variety of motor sports events, such as Formula One but has become increasingly familiar to even non-racing fans because it has become the track of choice for testing by manufacturers such as Porsche, Ford and Cadillac – something they frequently note in commercials.

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But the track’s management warns it is rapidly running out of cash and with the German government rejecting a requested $16 million bailout, the ‘Ring, as it’s frequently called, may be forced into insolvency.  A rescue is still possible, however, and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, not a many known for having a charitable side, is offering to “do everything” he can to help the track survive.

“We will do everything that is commercially feasible,” the 81-year-old Ecclestone told the German weekly Auto Bild, suggesting that his F1 organization would “bear all costs” for the 2013 race though the quid-pro-quo is that it would “also claim all revenues.”


Sauber Team Given Toyota’s Formula One Spot

Renault is rumored to be the next automaker to withdraw.

by on Dec.05, 2009

BMW Sauber 2009 F1 Car, Courtesy BMW AG

The spot is contingent on Sauber signing the Concorde Agreement that rules Formula One.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile confirmed late last week that the Sauber Team would be given a starting grid slot next year, taking the place of the departing Toyota team.

The spot is contingent on Sauber signing the Concorde Agreement that governs Formula One racing.

BMW announced earlier this year it was withdrawing from the super expensive and controversial sport at the end of 2009. In November BMW sold the team back to its original founder Peter Sauber, when BMW rejected its previous plan to sell its 80% stake to an unknown Mideast investment group, Qadbak.


BMW Sells Formula One Team Back to Sauber

One-third of workers are immediately sacked. Agreement is contingent on having a starting place for 2010 racing season.

by on Nov.30, 2009


Whether a place on the grid is offered to Sauber remains to be seen, as the costly and scandal wracked business continues to be roiled by defections of major automakers.

BMW AG agreed to sell its 80% ownership in the BMW Sauber F1 Team to founder and former owner Peter Sauber at the end of last week.

The contract is subject to the team having a starting place for the 2010 Formula One season, which up to this point is unknown  because the sanctioning body, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, mistrusted the proposed mid-east financing of a restructured team. This previous announced deal from a murky mid-east based company called Qadbak Investment Ltd is now off.

Whether a place on the grid is offered to Sauber remains to be seen, as the costly and scandal wracked business continues to be roiled by defections of major automakers, among them Honda, Toyota, BMW and tire supplier Bridgestone. Renault is also said to be examining its costly participation.

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Moreover, Ferrari, the unquestioned superstar marque of the series among fans, is apoplectic about one proposal to cut the obscene costs that are driving other makers away. It would see a spec engine replace the highly specialized, breathtakingly expensive, custom engines now in use. Ferrari’s entire marketing plan is based on its often-successful participation in Formula One, of course.


Formula One Racing Exodus Continues as Toyota and Bridgestone Announce Exits

Only Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Renault will compete as makers during the next racing season that starts in March.

by on Nov.05, 2009

The extreme costs and super rich image is driving makers out of Formual One.

The extreme costs and super excessive image is driving automakers out of Formula One.

Toyota Motor Corporation is leaving the super expensive Formula One racing circuit next year. Bridgestone, a major supplier to Toyota is withdrawing the year following.

The latest moves to cut team costs of almost half a billion dollars annually for leading marques means that only Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Renault  will compete as makers next season.

Ferrari is threatening to leave the series as well. Honda and BMW had previously withdrawn.

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Lotus Cars, now owned by Proton, is returning after a 15-year absence. In addition, several new smaller teams are thought to be preparing low budget entries for the new season, which starts in March. Previously, Lotus said it plans to spend only $90 million next year, compared to Toyota’s estimated $500 million annual investment in the hugely popular global sport.