Start, Zandvoort, 1984

Ecclestone explored Moto GP purchase while running F1 – Agostini

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula 1 and Moto GP almost shared an owner four decades ago, motorcycling legend Giacomo Agostini has revealed.

In brief

F1 enjoying a “golden moment” under Liberty

Bernie Ecclestone looked into buying the Moto GP series in the eighties as he increased his grip on Formula 1’s commercial rights, Agostini revealed speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, as current owner Liberty Media closes on a deal to buy the motorcycling world championship.

Agostini expected “good things” from a Liberty takeover of Moto GP based on their management of F1, which he said is enjoying a “golden moment” under its American owners. “Since we are certainly no less in terms of entertainment, indeed, I may be biased, but I believe that our races are even more exciting, I think there is a good margin of growth,” he said.

Misano won’t rival “mega” Tokyo – Cassidy

Nick Cassidy raved about Formula E’s new track in Tokyo. “It was mega,” said Cassidy, who lost the lead of the series last weekend. “It was a proper FE track: Bumps, fast, corners. You’ve really got to attack in qualifying. I thought this track was fantastic.”

However he doesn’t expect as much from the Misano circuit in Italy which is the championship’s next destination.

“I don’t think that track will be quite as cool as here,” he said. “I’m a big street circuit lover, I think that’s Formula E’s DNA. For Misano though we’ll try to do our best result possible.

“I don’t feel like we’re super-efficient right now. I feel like we have to improve. So at that track, that’s probably going to be the key.”

French F4 race rained off

Yani Stevenheydens won the opening race of the French Formula 4 series at Nogaro yesterday. However the second race, which featured a partial-reverse grid, was cancelled as heavy rain fell at the circuit:

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Comment of the day

We had a stack of great entries for the Caption Competition this weekend. Jeanrien, Cyberaxiom, Gary Taylor and Notagrumpyfan all came up with particularly good entries but our winner is:

Lando Norris and a bird, Melbourne, 2024

Yet another Aussie ordered out of Norris’ way
Mr Scallywag

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Seymour!

On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Mario Andretti dominated the CART IndyCar season opener, the series’ first race at Long Beach after replacing Formula 1. Geoff Brabham was second despite losing a cylinder and running out of fuel at the finish

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Ecclestone explored Moto GP purchase while running F1 – Agostini”

  1. 1988 Arrows A10B Megatron

    The best decade, and a car with the word “Megatron” in the name… what more does one want!!

    1. Don’t know if the best decade it’s debatable but Megatron is definitely the best name for an F1 engine ever(it was just an old BMW rebadged of course). Fittingly it propelled the team to its best ever WCC finish. And the cars were beautiful then both the Arrows and the March. Much sleeker than the long and heavy monsters of today.

      1. Don’t know if the best decade

        A lot of personal bias in my original statement, of course.

        I was thinking that as Sauber are a bit ‘game’ in the naming department, they could perhaps rebadge their engine similarly, and become the Stake Optimus Prime.

        1. Yeah yeah. They’ll be up for it I’m sure. And how they’re not just Stake they’re also Kick are they not? So how about “Stake Optimus Prime Kick Megatron”? Both retro and futuristic! :)

      2. @montreal95 the March cars were notorious for also being extremely unpleasant to drive, with some fairly significant safety concerns being raised about those cars.

        Gugelmin in particular was often in severe physical pain when driving those cars, due to how Newey pursued aerodynamic benefits at all costs, resulting in an excessively cramped monocoque. Because of the way he had to contort his lower body, it was impeding the circulation in Gugelmin’s legs to the point that, in some races, he couldn’t get out of the car afterwards without the mechanics having to partially lift him out of the car.

        Indeed, it seems that some March mechanics were privately thankful that Gugelmin didn’t have a particularly severe crash in the latter stages of certain races because, in an emergency situation, Gugelmin might have struggled to get out of the car unaided.

        1. @anon Don’t know about Gugelmin, but I’ve read an in-depth interview with Capelli and he loved to drive the Newey Marches. He said they felt special and unusually well sorted for such a cash strapped team. Yes he also mentioned that they weren’t easy to drive but any racing driver would take a quick but difficult car over an easy but slow one 24/7/365. Now I wasn’t talking only about the Arrows and March specifically. Any car of that era be it Mclaren/Ferrari/Williams/Lotus/Benetton etc. etc looked way more slick, nimble, purposeful somehow than the ungainly fat beasts of today. I’m sure MV or any other contemporary driver would prefer those cars over today’s ones(with all the necessary safety modifications obviously.

  2. CVC was forced by the European Commission to sell its shares in Dorna, acquired in 1988, to Bridgepoint after acquiring SLEC, the owner of FOM, back in 2006. A precedent has already been set, so I’m unsure if Liberty is that arrogant to proceed with this purchase which is typical of mega US corporations, or if they already have some assurances that the EU antitrust commission will turn a blind eye to this acquisition.

    Either way something feels not quite right here. Just hope that the EU antitrust commission will block this deal for the sake of MotoGP. I just lost hope regarding F1.

    1. I agree, i don’t want liberty to “fix” MotoGP also after the “Good” work they do in F1.

    2. I agree too. The antitrust commission should block the MotoGP deal.
      But, since I’m old and cynical, I fully expect the EU to turn a blind eye to it.
      Some magic money will change hands behind closed doors, and some political EU bozo will then affirm that everything is “in line with the regulations”. Wouldn’t surprise me one iota.

      It will all be amazingly perfect.
      Masses and masses of new customers will subscribe to MotoGP broadcasts (on a separate subscription from F1 of course, at an additional fee) and you will be happy (or else…). Something like that…

      I hope I’m wrong, I really do. I love being wrong about these things. :)

      1. Especially on 1st of April. :D

    3. Indeed, if it were allowed to go ahead, I would like to see CVC take legal action against the EU for missed revenue and earnings from being forced to sell!

  3. Neither mentioned nor linked in this round-up, but for everyone’s info, I just read that Nikita Mazepin will become Lewis Hamilton’s successor at Mercedes.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      1st April 2024, 7:32

      It will be announced today.

    2. What on April 1.
      What a cunning stunt.

      1. notagrumpyfan @davedai
        I normally never manage to come up with any good jokes for April Fools’ Day, but this year, I did, so I used an opportunity to go off-topic, which I normally never do.

        1. OK delete mine and see if we can catch anyone.

          1. @davedai Nothing to be sorry about.

        2. notagrumpyfan
          1st April 2024, 13:54

          You had me for half a second ;)

  4. Steiner sounds salty, car was made before I left, it’s the wrong thing to downplay expectations. I don’t think their car is that much better than the rest of the bottom half but they’ve executed better than them for sure. The whole race needs to come together.

    There’s a higher road one could take is all.

    1. Yellow Baron
      1st April 2024, 10:07

      Steiner was held back, if he were at mercedes they would be dominant to a greater extent than they ever were. same for mazepin.

  5. Yellow Baron
    1st April 2024, 10:11

    Almost cant believe this is happening to Moto GP. On the other hand though, it may actually not be too bad. Since the racing is already great they shouldn’t be concerned with that and if they indeed don’t meddle with the on track stuff (even down to the camera work because it’s fine!), and instead focus solely on marketing, then it should be alright. Just with the viewership increasing a bit which in some ways comes with it’s downfalls..

    It could go horribly wrong though :/

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