The Future of Formula 1 Hangs in the Balance

Words Jim Davis | March 29, 2016
Ecclestone stated that the holding group that controls a majority stake in Formula 1 has a deal on the table worth nearly $8.6 billion
Words Jim Davis March 29, 2016

Formula 1 and its future hangs in the balance. F1 has been in trouble for some time now with viewership and fans not paying top dollar to view the race at the racetracks or even watching the races on TV for that matter. Revenue is also down and drivers are speaking out against the sport at an alarming rate. So are the fans. Multiple problems could be to blame for the sport’s decline. Yet, those issues could all be in the past as Bernie Ecclestone, F1’s head honcho, a man’s that’s been in charge of the sport for over 40 years and a big part of its problems, finally seems willing to give up the reigns to someone else.

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone recently stated that CVC, the holding group that controls a majority stake in Formula 1 and employs him, has on the table a deal worth nearly $8.6 billion to acquire controlling interest in the sport. While Ecclestone declined to state who the parties involved were, he did state to Britain’s The Sun, “I think CVC will make a decision on the sale sooner or later. There are people who want to buy. Actually, two of the people have agreed [on] the price. It’s just a question of whether CVC wants to sell or not.”

Ten years ago, CVC purchased the sport, and over the years, has sold bits and pieces to other invested parties. However, this would be essentially a full sale of the sport due to the controlling 35 percent stake it represents. There’s no word on whether or not CVC is actually considering the offer. There’s also been no word on whether or not the driver’s or team’s associations have been consulted or informed on the details of the sale and acquisition.

In that same interview, Ecclestone further agitated fans by again stating that this could be the last year we see a Formula 1 race in Italy. “Monza has got a contract for this year, so it is going to go ahead. Next year is the question mark. I don’t think we have to have an Italian Grand Prix. Somebody once told me a funny thing that you couldn’t have Formula 1 without a race in France. But we do.”

Will Formula 1 be sold? Will Ecclestone finally leave the sport? Can Formula 1 recover some of that lost luster? We can only wait and see if the sale goes through and hope that the terms of the sale bolster the future of Formula 1 instead of hindering it.