F1 owner Liberty Media named most valuable sports empire | RaceFans Round-up


In the round-up: Forbes’ assessment of how much sports empires are worth puts F1 owner at the top of the list for 2023.

In brief

Forbes names F1’s owner as most valuable entity in sports

Forbes magazine has named Formula 1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media as the most valuable sports empire of 2023.

It estimates are that “the world’s 25 most valuable sports empires are worth a total of $173 billion, 23% more than a year ago”, although its methods for including aggregate values of companies that own multiple sport franchises has changed for this year to boost the value of such companies or empire-owning families.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given its global calendar and nine-month competition schedule, F1 is Liberty’s most valuable property. While a $20 billion (£16.15bn) price tag has been recently touted as F1’s value, and has instigated a conflict between Formula One Management and the FIA following the latter’s response to such reports, Forbes estimates F1 is actually worth $17.1 billion (£13.8bn) after taking into consideration new television deals that were signed last year.

In addition to that, ‘during the past year, the price of F1’s tracking stocks have increased 5%’. The total commercial value of Liberty, which also has a minority share in IndyCar team Meyer Shank Racing, is put at $20.8 billion (£16.8bn) by Forbes.

Other companies on Forbes’ list that own motorsport franchises included the Fenway Sports Group in fourth place, which is valued at $10.4 billion (£8.3bn) and owns the Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing team in NASCAR, and RedBird Capital Partners which has a minority share in Fenway.

Kuwait welcomes single-seaters with Safety Car action

Kuwait Motor Town’s first ever weekend of single-seater action did not quite go to plan, with the Formula Regional Middle East and Formula 4 United Arab Emirates championships spending most of their race time either under Safety Car or red flag conditions.

The 5.6-kilometre track in Kuwait did have several good overtaking spots, namely the long straight to turn two and the downhill turn seven right-hander. However some drivers proved overly enthusiastic in attack and defence at these places.

Five-wide into turn two ended in a multi-car crash

FRME’s first race (above) was stopped on lap one following two huge crashes at turn two that involved cars rolling, riding over the top of each other, losing wheels and being sent skyward from various forms of contact. Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic won that race, with Joshua Dufek and Sami Meguetounif winning the next two which both ran behind the Safety Car following lap one crashes.

F4 had the honour of being scheduled as the first ever open-wheel race in Kuwait (below), but the history-making action lasted half a lap before red flags waved following multiple incidents. Ferrari junior James Wharton won the restarted encounter.

Race two was the same, with a half of lap of action then the race being stopped entirely. This time Wharton just lost out to McLaren junior Ugo Ugochukwu when the cars returned to track, and former Sauber junior Zachary David dominated race three. He took the lead at the restart following a Safety Car period, which had been required after Wharton and his title rivals had collisions on lap one.

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On this day in motorsport

Honda RA108 launch, 2008
Honda’s RA108 was the final car produced by the manufacturer before it left F1


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