"We need to see F1's fu­ture cleaner"

Firm won’t in­vest in F1 un­til fu­ture is clearer

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook Pho­tos: LAT

Fer­rari chair­man Ser­gio Mar­chionne says his firm wants to know Lib­erty Me­dia’s long-term vi­sion for For­mula 1 be­fore it in­vests fur­ther, and played down talk that Fer­rari’s his­tor­i­cal pay­ments are set to be slashed.

Part of Lib­erty’s busi­ness plan for F1’s fu­ture is for all teams to pur­chase a stake of shares in the sport, believ­ing that both the ex­tra in­vest­ment and each team hav­ing a fi­nan­cial in­ter­est will help to push the sport for­ward.

So far, talks on pur­chases have be­gun with a hand­ful of teams, but Mar­chionne said last week that he didn’t ex­pect much take-up while the cur­rent Con­corde Agree­ment un­til 2020 was still valid. He called for greater de­tails of Lib­erty’s plan be­yond the cur­rent con­tract.

“We have started ex­plor­ing the op­por­tu­nity [to buy a stake],” said Mar­chionne. “We are in dis­cus­sions with Lib­erty, but the is­sue is not just the fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment. This [F1] is some­thing that we do for a liv­ing in a se­ri­ous way. The Con­corde Agree­ment ex­pires in 2020. So, be­com­ing a non-vot­ing share­holder in an en­tity, which ef­fec­tively keeps us trapped in with­out knowl­edge of what 2021 and later will look like, it is some­thing I con­sider un­wise.

“We have tabled, and I think we’re not the only ones who have, that we want clar­ity on what the post-2020 world looks like and what Fer­rari may get from its F1 in­volve­ment.”

Lib­erty had also been con­nected with plans to reshuf­fle the skewed fi­nan­cial sys­tem within the sport. Fer­rari cur­rently re­ceives bonus pay­ments for tak­ing part, based on its his­toric im­por­tance to the cham­pi­onship. Fer­rari cur­rently re­ceives the high­est share of F1 rev­enue at £192m, which is boosted by a £70m long-stand­ing team bonus.

Lib­erty had re­port­edly looked at scrap­ping the bonus pay­ments in search of a fairer di­vi­sion of wealth down the grid.

Mar­chionne added: “There’s go­ing to be no changes to the con­trac­tual agree­ments un­til 2020 with F1 and Fer­rari. The topic has not even been brought up and it will be fairly un­wise to raise it as a dis­cus­sion topic.”

Fer­rari gets the most pay from F1 rev­enue

Mar­chionne: coy on cash

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