"We need to see F1's future cleaner"
Firm won’t invest in F1 until future is clearer
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.”
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