F1 For Sale

Rumors abound that Rupert Murdoch and Carlos Slim are looking to form a consortium to buy F1. Bernie Ecclestone (F1 supremo since 1978) says that is completely not true. That can mean only one thing; it's completely true! Bernie is famous for finding out that his wife was divorcing him by reading about it in the newspapers. If he's that out of touch with his wife you can imagine how out of touch he is with F1. OK, that's a bit of a joke. He's probably more in tune with F1 than his marriage which probably explains why he's still in F1 but no longer married.

NewsCorp. is mum on the subject as is Slim. But consider:

Mexican billionaire Slim already has a relationship with the sport via the Telmex-backed Sauber team through his eldest son Carlos Slim Domit.

and JPMorgan is reportedly advising which explains the leak. They've been leaking deal news like a sieve since 2005 or so when they're trying to either close a deal or pump up interest in a market segment.

CVC capital acquired F1 in 2006 and they've been sliding since then. Stupid rule changes, unwise market expansion and wildly increasing costs have been narrowing margins as well as overall revenue. It would not surprise me if CVC was looking for an out.

Add to that the new F1 track coming online in Austin in the very near future. That puts the US back on the map for marketing and increases sales opportunity for TV rights which puts Fox in the catbird seat.

So; if you have a new track in the US, the ownership is US/Mexican you shift the center of gravity from Europe where the sport is lagging and push it on the US front which has a great love of autoracing (if not F1) and it starts to make sense.

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