In the round-up: Liberty Media’s president has assured F1’s owners are not looking to sell the sport
Liberty Media not looking to sell F1
Formula 1 commercial rights holder Liberty Media is not looking to sell the series, its president and CEO Greg Maffei has said, following speculation earlier this year Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was considering buying into it.
“Anyone says that our friends the Saudis are going to buy it next week or something like that, if anybody knows us, they should know that’s just not in our cards,” Maffei told the Moffett Nathanson Media and Communications Summit.
He said Liberty still sees opportunities to increase the income it makes from the series. “We are very enthused about where Formula 1 is now but [also] where it’s going as well. You look at the big revenue streams there, all have good direction. In broadcasting we have increased fans and we have increased distributors who want to push the product, including new digital distributors and the like. We have promoters who are our partners.
“The gate was probably [25%] up in Miami. That’s not unique. They’re selling out everywhere, particularly the high-end experiences, the Paddock Clubs, all at better prices. So we are able to get upticks in what we get paid. We have been able to add a few races and there’s maybe a little more room left there. And then sponsorship has grown dramatically. We’ve opened up the number of global sponsors. I think we’ve gone from five to 12 of our biggest sponsor types.
“We are continuing to see traction there and I think we’re well set up. We have a new opportunity with what we’re doing in Las Vegas where we will be the promoter and we have a opportunity to learn about something and hopefully set the bar.”
Verstappen headlines Redline simrace
After this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was cancelled due to the impact of flooding in the region, the simracing team will stream a special ‘Real Racers Never Quit’ event online on Sunday. Verstappen will join his Redline team mates with guest racers including Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa, F2 champion Felipe Drugovich, Australian Supercars racer Shane van Gisbergen, F2 racer Jack Doohan and many Red Bull junior drivers such as Jak Crawford, Isack Hadjar and Ayumu Iwasa.
The event will begin tomorrow at 2:30pm UK time on Team Redline’s Twitch channel.
Sato sets new Indy benchmark before qualifying
Takuma Sato was the fastest in the final day of practice at Indianapolis ahead of today’s first day of qualifying.
The Chip Ganassi driver set a fastest lap speed of 234.753mph – the fastest lap time achieved in practice since Arie Luyendyk in 1996. Marco Andretti was second quickest, with Rinus VeeKay third and last year’s winner Marcus Ericsson fourth.
Qualifying for the Indy 500 begins at 4pm UK time.
F1 to donate €1m to flood relief
Formula 1 will make a donation of €1m to the Emilia-Romagna Region’s Agency for Territorial Safety and Civil Protection to help people impacted by the flooding in the region.
The gift matches that pledged by Ferrari yesterday. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, who is from the region, offered his thoughts on behalf of the sport to people affected.
“The situation facing the communities in the region is terrible, but I know that the resilience and passion of the people in the region, like so many across Italy, will prevail through this crisis,” Domenicali said. “We must do everything we can to support them at this difficult time and that is why we are donating to help support the relief efforts on the ground.”
Anyone who wishes to donate to the fund can do so online.
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Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
Tim Cindric just said @Team_Penske drivers will draw their own numbers for qualifying order after he drew a poor number for @josefnewgarden last year. "He's making us do it," JN said. Countered TC: "You guys VOLUNTEERED for it." @IndyCar
— Curt Cavin (@curtcavin) May 19, 2023
— 無限MUGEN【公式】 (@mugen1973) May 19, 2023
Maybe you didn't really understand what happened and what is happening in Emilia Romagna. F1 grand prix is a very small thing
— Giuliano Duchessa (@GiulyDuchessa) May 19, 2023
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- Find more official F1 accounts to follow in the F1 Twitter Directory
Happy birthday to Ned Flanders, Rui Pinto, Thed4N1El, Dirk and Andy!
On this day in motorsport
- On this day in 1973 Jackie Stewart won the first Belgian Grand Prix to be held at the Zolder circuit
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