Teams should not dismiss F1 stake offer says Mercedes’ Wolff


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Toto Wolff believes Formula 1 teams should consider the invitation from Liberty Media to acquire a stake in the single-seater championship.

Liberty Media completed the acquisition of F1 last month, with Chase Carey being appointed as Chief Executive Officer. In a move to encourage teams to have a vested interest, Liberty Media offered all ten teams to buy a stake in the sport, reserving $400 million of shares for them. If within six months of the takeover the shares have not been issued to teams, they will be retired.

Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Wolff believes teams should not dismiss the idea of taking a stake in the sport.

“This is an idea which one shouldn’t dismiss easily,” Wolff told Austrian magazine Trend.

“But in any case one must know more about the business case and our role in the whole (project). Talks about this have only just begun and will probably last over the coming months.”

None of the teams on the 2017 grid have publicly taken Liberty Media up on the offer but Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has expressed his interested, but wants clarity on what the post-2020 world looks like, as this is when the current Concorde Agreement will expire.

“We have started exploring the opportunity now,” said Marchionne. “We are in discussions with Liberty and I recently had a meeting with Chase.

“Becoming a non-voting shareholder in an entity, which effectively keeps us trapped in without knowledge of what 2021 and the later world will look like, it is something I consider unwise. So one of the things we have tabled with Chase.

“I think we’re not the only ones that are tabling these concerns, is clarity on what the post-2020 world looks like and what Ferrari may be able to get from its involvement in Formula 1 activities.

“Once we have clarity, then I think it becomes a lot easier to decide whether we want to participate in this venture.”