FIA urge caution amid reports of a $20-billion offer to purchase Formula 1

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has called for "common sense" after reports emerged that Liberty Media had rejected a staggering $20-billion bid from Saudi Arabi's PIF to purchase Formula 1.

Over the weekend, financial publication Bloomberg published a report suggesting the PIF had made an enormous $20-billion bid to take over the rights to F1 which was rejected by Liberty Media.

It would represent a massive return on investment for the American corporation, which bought the sport in 2017 for $4.6-billion and immediately began expanding its audience through various campaigns such as requiring drivers to be active on social media and launching the behind-the-scenes Netflix series Drive to Survive.

There is no doubt Formula 1 is bigger and better than it was in 2017, especially in key regions like the USA, but Ben Sulayem is concerned the bid of $20-billion is already inflated, so if the PIF come back with increased offers in the future that situation will just get worse.

Ben Sulayem is well aware that if F1 is sold, especially for an overly inflated price, it will have an impact on the whole sport from race hosting fees to ticket prices for fans.

"As the custodians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organisation, is cautious about alleged inflated price tags of $20bn being put on F1," Ben Sulayem wrote on Twitter.

"Any potential buyer is advised to apply common sense, consider the greater good of the sport and come with a clear, sustainable plan - not just a lot of money.

"It is our duty to consider what the future impact will be for promoters in terms of increased hosting fees and other commercial costs, and any adverse impact that it could have on fans."

The PIF have a clear strategy of investing in sport around the world with the acquisition of Premier League club Newcastle United in 2021 as well as launching the breakaway LIV Golf series and hosting any number of boxing title fights in Saudi Arabi.

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