A website that has been known to be close to Bernie Ecclestone reported this week that we could expect a big announcement soon, and a close aide of the F1 boss confirmed to me with a smile in Australia that news was indeed on its way – and that it involved the structure of the sport and would shake a few people up.
A few team insiders speculated that it might involved Ferrari and Red Bull signing up to a new Concorde Agreement, and Sky News has reported something along similar lines tonight with the suggestion that those teams will have a stake in the ownership of the sport via the new 2013-2020 deal.
This would be linked to a public offering of a sale of part of CVC’s stake in F1, which Sky says will be placed by Goldman Sachs and which values the sport at “well over £10bn.” Another recent report suggested that any available shares will be those currently owned by Lehman Brothers, which has a 15.3% stake.
Sky reports that Ferrari as usual has a special position as the oldest team in the sport, and there’s extra cash for the first team to have won consecutive constructors’ titles since 2008, the team in question being Red Bull.
There is also mention of single car customer teams for new entrants.
A Ferrari/RBR deal is certainly logical, and if true the next question has to be what deal did or will those teams get as the first signatories, and what is available to everyone else – the FOTA members, essentially. We await developments with interest…
Note: Intriguingly the Sky News story, which was a blog by business editor Mark Kleinman, has seemingly now disappeared from the website after being up for only a few hours on Saturday evening UK time. That is perhaps not surprising given that it contained what appeared to be extracts from legal documents that one might assume were not supposed to be in the public domain…