FIA president warns over ‘inflated $20bn price’ for F1 after reported Saudi interest | 2023 F1 season


The president of the FIA says any potential buyer for Formula 1 must apply “common sense” following reports a Saudi Arabian fund made a $20 billion (£16.16bn) bid for the sport.

A report last week claimed the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund made an approach to F1’s owners Liberty Media which was turned down. Liberty Media bought the series from CVC Capital Partners and other stakeholders in 2016, in a deal which valued it at $8 billion (£6bn).

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem warned a $20bn sale price could have negative consequences for the sport.

“As the custodians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organisation, is cautious about alleged inflated price tags of $20bn being put on F1,” he wrote on social media.

“Any potential buyer is advised to apply common sense, consider the greater good of the sport and come with a clear, sustainable plan – not just a lot of money.

“It is our duty to consider what the future impact will be for promoters in terms of increased hosting fees and other commercial costs, and any adverse impact that it could have on fans.”

Since 2016 the Formula One Group’s stock prices (FWONK) have risen from $18.26 to $69.89.

Dividing lines have emerged between the FIA, which is the governing body of motorsport, and F1. Ben Sulayem recently announced he will begin a process to admit a new team to the series amid interest from Andretti, while F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has said he sees no need to expand the grid beyond its current 10 teams.

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