F1’s next owner needs to be fully committed to the sport.
That is the view of Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, after F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone revealed that CVC is likely to sell its majority stake “shortly”.
Among those reportedly interested are the Miami Dolphins’ Stephen Ross, Qatar’s sports investment arm, Sky and international telcom Liberty, the Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, or even Dietrich Mateschitz, CVC’s Donald Mackenzie and F1 supremo Ecclestone himself. “Bernie is always very good for headlines,” Wolff declared as the news broke. “And headlines and controversy are part of F1.”
As for F1’s potential new owner, he was quoted by Brazil’s Universo as insisting the sport needs “someone with a vision for the future”. Indeed, the CVC era has been controversial, with many accusing the private equity firm of not being well enough engaged with its investment beyond mere revenue-raising. “CVC has been in charge for a long time,” agreed Wolff.
“Some investments have had very interesting results for F1. “But it was always clear that they would want to sell the business eventually, as it is not their main focus. “What is important for us now is that we have an owner who is totally preoccupied with the sport and has a good vision for the future.”
Asked if he has a preference among the reported candidates, Wolff said: “Even if I did, I would not say. Let’s see what will happen.”