Start, Red Bull Ring, 2015

Qatar and property mogul tipped to buy F1 from CVC

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Start, Red Bull Ring, 2015In the round-up: F1 owners CVC may receive a bid to buy the sport in a joint venture between Qatar Sports Investments – part of the sovereign wealth fund of the Arab state – and sports entertainment firm RSE Ventures.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

US-Qatari move to take over Formula One (FT - registration required)

"RSE Ventures, a company founded by the 75-year-old property and sports tycoon Stephen Ross, wants to buy 35.5 per cent of the holding company that owns F1 from Europe’s largest buyout group CVC Capital Partners. It is being backed by Qatar Sports Investments, which also owns the Paris Saint-Germain football club."

Miami Dolphins owner and Qatar set to bid for Formula One (The Telegraph)

"CVC are in the business of buying and selling companies. The point is that they are very happy with F1 and Donald is not an enthusiastic seller. But their business is selling and everything has a price."

Qatar, RSE teaming up to buy stake in Formula One - source (Reuters)

"The key to unlocking this deal is that under Bernie, F1 doesn't do much TV rights marketing. Hahn will help with that"

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner denies his job is under threat (The Guardian)

"The unidentified team principal had been given the impression that the Austrian Gerhard Berger, a former McLaren and Ferrari driver who is close to Red Bull’s billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz, was set to replace the Briton."

Arrivabene against 'fake' Friday pace (Autosport)

"I said to the engineers that it's better to go on Friday with a full full tank so we can see a correct comparison instead of seeing a fake one."

Ocon: Force India upgrade a 'massive improvement' (F1i)

"There has been massive improvements on the car; the car was mega quick today. It was just perfect."

Williams reveals radical new winglet (Motorsport)

"Teams are often frustrated by the limits on where aerodynamic parts can be introduced but the winglet is in an area that has not been widely exploited before - potentially because it falls foul of such restrictions."

F1 must start fighting back (Sky)

"In the distant past I’ve been called to the diminutive headmaster’s office to have my collar felt for being even mildly negative about F1. How things change."


Comment of the day

A case for relaxing the restrictions on engine development:

If a team comes up with something new (F-duct, double diffuser etc…), the others teams can copy them. It may take a while but over the course of a year, they usually get there. The engine manufacturers can’t because the engines are too complicated to get up to speed with no testing.

If Ferrari (for example) redesigned the power unit to feature a split turbo, they’d have a season like Honda are having now. The following season would be 2017 which may or may not have a new set of rules so the may have to redesign everything again then as well!

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Alain Prost won a thrilling Mexican Grand Prix on this day 25 years ago. Looks out for an article on this race later today.

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  • 65 comments on “Qatar and property mogul tipped to buy F1 from CVC”

    1. I don’t know how I feel about this, for so long a lot including me has wanted this change, but I just don’t believe now that it is going to the right people, such a shame that I just don’t feel the right people are going to be in charge of F1 if this is done. Although F1 needs a change of people, its not the right people IMO

      1. Yep I know what you mean. Trouble is anyone now is going to be a huge investor money person, whose values are money, money and money, in that order.

        It needed the teams to walk off in 2005, really, but they’re not that smart in the wide, wicked world of the investors.

        Tho I guess we can hope for an owner who has a clue about websites, apps and coverage. That would be an improvement.

        1. @bezza695 @lockup I fully expect a ‘here’s the new boss, same as the old boss’ situation.

      2. Well, F1 was always going to be sold anyway. Its impeding crisis might have translated in the right moment for a sell-out as the sport may have peaked. Otherwise it’s just changing status from being one company’s cash cow to being another’s.

      3. I doubt the Qatari’s are for real. How long did William’s spend there and get nothing in return? There is something else in the works here…

      4. Investors are the same all around the world anyways. Most of the time their only ethics is money, and they invest in weapons, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and oil. Philantropy or sportmanship is not on their agendas.

        Qatar would be no better or worse than cvc, just the same usually amoral investors. Grid girls will still be there, high ticket prices, unbearable tv rights, DRS, Baku and Ecclestone, nothing would change.

        1. Well at least the Grid Girls will still be there!

    2. I do hope Ocon is right about the Force India. That would really spark up the midfield racing.

      1. @lockup Indeed, plus it will be a big boost for Hulkenberg, who might be able to battle the Williams’ more often.. but Force India really have a chance now to get 4th in the WCC, along with RBR and Lotus!

          1. People really underestimate him, he finished 9th from 13th in Autria even with when he had a bad pitstop.

            1. I think Checo is still suffering from his Mclaren “I’ve made it, oh wait…” failure, even though he continues to produce some good results. After all he is beating Hulkenberg 5-3 in terms of race results so far this season.

    3. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      24th June 2015, 1:00

      I have read that CVC has made their investment 4/5 times over. It really is a shame that such gross personal financial gain is being championed over the integrity of the sport. Nor am I convinced by the integrity of these new investors, but if they delete Bernie Ecclestone I will sing praise to the mountains. I see it as a new opportunity, could go sour, could become brilliant, but a new one at that

      1. Probably one of those things that the repercussions will be unknown until it happens, if it happens. Bernie’s antics are tiresome for sure and it seems like F1 could be managed in a much more positive way. However Bernie is replaced at some point will be mighty interesting.

      2. The prospective investors say they want to buy Bernie’s shares but keep him as CEO.

        1. That’s more or less what happened when CVC bought F1.

      3. @frankjaeger, is Bernie necessarily quite as influential as we think he is these days? CVC stripped quite a few of his functions away from him when he was indicted in Germany, and he only just about managed to hold onto his position after the trial, suggesting that the balance of power has shifted somewhat in CVC’s favour.

    4. I just have to air my opinion about the recent Brundle bashing- I’m not for it! As far as a driver/commentator goes, he’s pretty alright. I enjoy his perspective, and his enthusiasm is one of the reasons that I still follow this crazy, wonderful sport.

      1. Agreed he is the best commentator by a mile!

        1. @dimsim, @macca – Yet when people can they watch on BBC?

          1. @xtwl
            Maybe to not have to experience the shock and horror that is Hill/Herbert/Lazenby :)
            I like Martin’s commentary – at least he is knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the sport and remains relatively unbiased towards the drivers (unlike a certain Mr. Allen).

            1. @synapseza
              James Allen is biased ? how so ?

            2. @hamilfan

              Not in his blog or podcasts, but in his commentary on ITV after Murray retired. I still cringe when I think about the 2006 Hungarian GP commentary :)

            3. Hill – Decent, level headed and normally quite informative although a little too dull for TV.
              Herbert – Not that much a technical guy for a former driver and his “Yeah I think so” at the beginning of every sentence is somewhat annoying, but he is funny and brings something entertaining to Sky.
              Lazenby – His talents and knowledge are more suited to presenting the X-Factor rather than F1 coverage.
              Crofty – Has the voice of a commentator, pity that mouth isn’t often connected to a knowledgeable brain, unless he is quoting the paper sheets he sticks to the wall of course.
              Brundle – Knowledgeable, somewhat level headed and mainly unbiased unless it comes to Alonso, you can tell he has a soft spot for Fernando. Although he ego sometimes does show he is an asset that Sky cant lose.
              Pinkham – Not sure why but I think the team took a dent while she was away having her baby. If she does get the top gear job as is rumoured It will be a shame for Sky.
              Ted – Knowledgeable to some degree that comes with the experience he has in the pitlane, isn’t afraid to ask questions that others don’t but his love of hyperbole often gets a little to much.

              However, as much as the Sky team have their faults it wouldn’t matter if the BBC showed every race live I’d still watch Sky, because they don’t have Mr. Eddie Jordan on the TV at any point. My body has a reaction to Eddie that I can’t control, he comes on the TV screen and my fingers push the power button.

            4. What’s wrong with Eddie Jordan?

          2. Not me, I can’t stand the BBC coverage – very poor!

            1. +1. Seen one race (Hungary ’11) with BBC coverage and it was downright dreadful. Never again!

      2. Lewisham Milton
        24th June 2015, 18:43

        I think he’s Sky’s only redeeming feature, just like he was with ITV.
        He’s dead on in that piece about viewing trackside (and when he’s reporting from there, he’s always worth listening to) but he does have access to spots paying spectators can’t go.

    5. From CVG to Qatar Sports Investments, talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

    6. Qatar buyout F1?

      A desperate way to go about getting Losail it’s own F1 race!

      $$$ is nothing to the petro-states though, I guess!

    7. So, we are getting new owners in the form of another 75 year old businessman together with Quatari friends, AND will still have Bernie as a CEO??? My god, this is depressing news…

    8. Always shocking to hear fans comments about money dominating F1. Here’s quick test everyone can do: do you think contemporary f1 exists for a)competitive racing between manufactures and drivers or b) to make rich men richer? If you answered (a) I have a bridge to sell you. It’s always about the money, it’s never about the racing. I know this seems simplistic, but it is the very highest level of the existence of contemporary f1. I know the easy argument is that if the racing quality falls the money disappears, but 2014-2015 are proving they can manufacture competition without real competition. We aren’t watching racing. And before you ask, I’m into f1 for the tech, not the bromances and driver crushes.

      F1 is and and always will be all about the money.

    9. If CVC were to be taken over by these Qatar folks we could have a strange development some might not even see. You know why US citizens like to visit Europe? Because we have a culture that dates back thousands of years. Buildings, stone churches and so much more, museums full of it. They don’t have that. It’s kind of the same with the middle-eastern desert people. They don’t have a racing history like for example France, Germany or England has. That might mean, in contradiction with Ecclestone who is used to those tracks, these Qatar sheikhs might attach a higher value to the classic tracks like Spa, Silverstone and Monza. Sure the’ll want a few races in their own countries, let’s be honest who wouldn’t. So let’t not write this off already.

      1. Good to see a more positive view of this @xtwl, reminds one to look for the bright sides of everything.

        I myself are rather depressed by it, as it might also mean even more races in well paying but not so great places (Quatari are unlikely to have much affinity with thoughts like freedom, equality etc), and its likely going to bring us more desert races (or would regional power struggles mean Bahrain and Abu Dhabi might get ditched?) and races like Russia.
        But if, as you rightly point out, they are in it for the long run, then surely they should go about and ensure that the highlights of the calendar stay on and instead of making a quick buck the whole of F1 is renovated and made stronger.

        1. would regional power struggles mean Bahrain and Abu Dhabi might get ditched

          I never understood these things but yeah, definetely. Some middle east countries hate other ones and might prevent them from getting a F1 race.

    10. 10 Billion!! Screw that. You could do something better for way cheaper. Something like:

      Ask Dallara to build me 30 modern safety conscious versions of the Lotus 49.
      Shove a V12 into them with a manual 4 speed gearbox so you hear that baby rev out (constant gear changing sounds terrible by comparison – plus drivers have to drift this baby out of the corners rather than short shift it)
      Go to all the great tracks in the world (brand hatch etc) that have been shafted by F1
      Pay the winner 5 million per race and all the other top 10 finished 500,000
      Sign all the good drivers in the world to an exciting, power sliding noisy awesome track visiting spectacle.
      Leave 9 billion in the bank… and F1 to do what ever they like…

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        24th June 2015, 9:51

        build me 30 modern safety conscious versions of the Lotus 49

        That’s not Formula 1 though; maybe you can set up F2. @dimsim

    11. I am a PSG supporter since I’m young and have always supported them through tough times. It used to be an outsider’s club and made its charm, but now it’s just another soulless full-of-money dominant team which I don’t find myself in. The team wins, money and games, but I feel like it doesn’t need my support anymore. It grew up and changed so much… a bit like Manchester City.

      I have already lost lots of interest in F1 over my 20-year fan-career so I hope the sport is not going into the position as some football club who went soulless.
      Apart few stuffs, F1 is in the shape it has always been, a merger sport; and I want it to stay like that.

    12. Did anyone else see force india’s ‘nostril’ nose!?

      1. Yes, the link is is a bit higher up in the comments.
        It looks pretty neat actually, reminds me of a turntable headshell :]

    13. Either Arrivabene is a total idiot for mentioning this in public or a total genius to make people think that the Friday pace is fake.

      While in the last few years Ferrari topped the times regularly in practice only to fall back on Saturday, this year they have been closer to the top than before in both one lap pace and long runs. I don’t think they are running the car light as earlier but not with full tanks as well.

    14. ColdFly F1 (@)
      24th June 2015, 10:10

      If an NFL team owner buys into Formula 1:
      – ad breaks after 5 minutes will be introduced – VSC every 3rd lap;
      – Beyonce and Madona will perform during half time show on start/finish straight;
      – the World Championship will be renamed World Series and only be raced in North America;
      – the sport will be called Foccer;
      – crashing will be mandatory for entertainment sake, with thick bumpers around the cars;
      – racing will move indoors to domes;
      – grid girls will use pompoms and called cheerleaders; and
      – cockpits will be made larger to fit overweight drivers.

      1. +1 , apart from the last point that’s maybe a little harsh lol.

    15. Neil (@neilosjames)
      24th June 2015, 10:20

      Shame there isn’t some benevolent, F1-loving multi-billionaire who fancies buying F1 and handing it off to a non-profit trust run by a board of die-hard fans and experienced motorsport figures…

      1. And you dont think they would screw it up just as bad? Committees make camels, we need a thorough bread. I’m all for an F1 czar, wouldn’t mind if it was The red bull boss.

        Side point, fans should never be in control of f1. Fans are customers and customers need to be told what they want, not asked.

    16. Qatar have been buying influence for years now and many would be horrified in the UK to know how much of London they’ve bought. The World Cup was the icing on the cake of a long term project and it’s unfair to blame them for buying it when everyone in the world knew that there was a price to hold a World Cup.

      What does it mean for F1? Difficult to say really other than a grand prix there and an ownership not scared of major investment in both product and marketing, the complete opposite of CVC really.

      This is a really good read for those interested:

      1. Qatar is playing monopoly with London. They’re dirty money infiltrates everything and there’s no doubt it will eventually end very badly.

    17. For all of our complaints about Bernie, the guy is a Saint compared to the Qatari Monarchy.
      Qatar still has the death penalty, including the use of public executions and stoning, as well as using corporal punishment. Homosexuality is a crime, women are treated as property and have few rights and the country is one of the worst human rights abusers with slavery, forced labour and forced prostitution being common.
      The Qatari Monarchy, along with their Wahhabi friends in Saudi Arabia, have spent years funding terrorist groups that are literally trying to destroy Western nations and turn the Middle East and Africa into a medievil celiphate where their perveted interpretation of Islam is the only law.

      It’s bad enough we’ve got Bernie sucking up to dictators and ditching traditional GP’s in favour of soulless Tilke tracks in some morally dubious locations as he seeks to pocket as many ill-gotten petro-dollars as he can before he dies, but if this deal goes through every F1 fan will be left with the choice of abandoning the sport they love or funding an absolute Monarch and his repressive, hate filled regime of slave traders and terrorists.

      1. Yes, Monarchy the worst. Another undemocratic empire who conduct bulk interception of data and intelligence of disregard they own citizen Human Rights must be excluded from F1 too. We must banned Silverstone!

        1. Typical whataboutery, Silverstone isn’t owned or operated by the British government or the House of Windsor, and as such your comparison isn’t valid. And while you may not have noticed, the British Empire hasn’t existed for over fifty years.

          1. LoL. When you start to mix F1 and injustice that happen outside the track, you knew that no country can be justified to operate one. Or maybe you should take off that horse blinders…

            1. When did the BRDC or its members publicly execute people, deny them their rights or commit human rights abuses ?
              Where are the forced labourers dying in their hundreds at Silverstone ?
              How many terrorist organisations are they funding ?

            2. @beneboy that’s it!
              Since when QSI or BRDC funded terrorist groups???
              While we all here talking about Qatar Sports Investments, you just think its good idea to bashing Qatari Monarchy and its religion.
              Using your logic surely a race in every country that did not respect humanity should be banned from F1.
              Especially this country:

        2. I’m sorry but how is any action you described not done by the British intelligence service to so called free British citizens?

      2. You are right on most things, except terrorist wanting to destroy the western nations. USA and NATO work together with terrorists with a goal of destabilizing the Middle East and East European regions, so that USA can have more influence over a shaky puppets they install there. They’ve been doing it with South America for a while.
        They’ve done it in many former USSR republics in order to bring chaos by giving power to terrorist groups that would be called “freedom fighters”, all with a goal of separating them from USSR.
        Then they did it to SFRJ (Yugoslavia), by installing three puppets as presidents of the biggest three republics, in an exchange for disbanding the union.
        Most recently they’ve been working in Middle East by removing all non-religious oriented “dictators”, and causing total chaos with the subsequent appearance of numerous Islamic terrorist groups, all in an effort to further the goals of their Saudi allies.

        The running theme is that they remove decent governments, by funding and training terrorist (they call them freedom fighters) who completely destabilize the region. Then, around 10 years later, they declare those freedom fighters to be terrorists (which they’ve always been), and use that as an excuse to invade the territory. Mission accomplished. You have a weakened territory in a politically chaotic state, which is very easy to influence and you have your troops and bases on that territory for a complete control.

    18. We can only hope that f1 will be run with a more sustainable business model and approach.

      Hopefully, they will drive the popularity of the sport with more access to f1 content (youtube, FREE official f1 app, etc.) . They should have smarter deals with classic race tracks that produce good racing, and understand the intrinsic value of good races vs just pure race hosting fees.

      A depart from Bernie’s input on ‘improving the show’ should be replaced by a group of engineers and ex-drivers who will improve the sport’s ‘show’ by still maintaining the DNA of pure racing. I’m guessing this is easier said than done, but I’m sure if the right minds were put to it, it would produce a better result than any of Bernie’s branchildren

      Lastly, getting a more equitable distribution of revenues between the larger and smaller teams, and a a more transparent, and less corrupt governing body should make it easier for smaller teams to survive in the sport with a chance of good results from time to time.

      This is all mere speculation on the fact that Bernie still won’t be in charge at the helm. Honestly, the best thing that could come from this takeover is that Bernie isn’t involved in the management of the sport anymore.

    19. selling our sport to terrorists…

    20. The problem with Ferrari running light in practice sessions is that alot of commentators get sucked into the times and then build something up to what doesn’t end up happening. I lost count how many times Crofty mentioned Ferrari’s pace and that Mercedes needed to watch out only for Vettel to +15 seconds behind them in the race, which you have to feel would of been more had it not been for Rosberg knowing the race win was his and Hamilton knowing given his penalty and his lack of pace he couldn’t win the race, Mercedes weren’t pushing hard in those final stages but rather maintaining the gap, Vettel on the other hand was pushing to catch Massa. So when some fans who judge based on commentary alone see the end result like this when they have been told repeatedly over the weekend that Ferrari pace not only matched Mercedes but beat it they get disappointed with the result even more so.

      I understand when drivers say something like “team X pace looked good, it will be a hard race” because they aren’t going to say any different, either because it would give away their true pace or open them up to looking foolish after the race but commentators, some of which are intelligent (not Crofty) would probably be better served toning down the hyperbole until the race starts. The again I’m not sure how well the ratings would do in some regions if they said team X has no chance.

    21. F1 can change ownership a million times but as long as that new owner backs Bernie not much is going to change in terms of the racing. How F1 is seen politically is a whole different story though, but F1 doesn’t do politics does it Mr.E?

    22. I think that the people wanting to take over are wanting to do so while Bernie is still there so he can steady the ship & hold it together, because once he goes/dies all hell is going to break loose i think.
      The thing is although Bernie is slippery & out to make money (if he really needs any-more) but he has come from within the sport & thus knows the teams & drivers angles nobody else can do this & i cannot see any of the other teams taking orders from Horner either.
      As others have said in these comments the teams should have done some thing back in 2005, but they never think long-term.

    23. Most middle east countries are rich because they have oil money which they are using it to further their money making scheme. Their achievements are nothing but being lucky to have oil in their land. They can’t even build a moped engine and they wanna own F1.

      Dont mind them holding races, but something like owning F1, no way. I bet it wont be their people who’d be running the sport even if they own it.

    24. I think Christian Horner’s remarks in the press today are an indication of just how lost in the wilderness F1 has become.

      Horner has been talking about finding an “independent adviser” for F1 – someone (perhaps Ross Brawn) who can do what the “inept” strategy group cannot. In other words, Horner is suggesting hiring someone to do what Jean Todt and the FIA are supposedly there to do – setting and policing the technical and sporting regulations. The FIA seems to have sold its right to set the formula, and as a result, the balance between sporting interests and commercial interests has become completely skewed in favour of commerce. There is no restraining force to counter this, and as a result financial engineering has become much more important than the electro-aero-mechanical kind.

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