With news of a sale impending, which would see the largest shareholder, British investment group CVC Capital Partners, possibly sell its 35 percent stake in the Formula 1 Group, the eyes of the world are upon the situation regarding F1 ownership. It seems as if most of the time, any echoes from the Formula 1 Group come by way of its gregarious chief executive, Bernie Ecclestone.
However, in a rare interview with Motorsport.com, CVC Chairman Donald Mackenzie spoke out in regard to his perspective on the present state of affairs.
Mackenzie defended F1 in the wake of criticisms but did call on a sense of “urgency” within the sport:
“I think the sport is actually much better than people are writing.
But there is definitely some urgency to see some improvements made, to make it a more exciting sport.
Bernie, the teams and the FIA are working on it, and I hope some of the improvements will come along soon.”
In a comment that will perhaps draw the ire of many in the sport, Mackenzie said it was not CVC’s responsibility to help financially struggling smaller teams but said that he hoped the Strategy Group would take measures to do so.
“There are contracts in place, and they agreed with the contracts when they signed them.
It’s always annoying when people change their minds later. We want to help the small teams when we can. We can reduce costs, make the sport more attractive, and get more sponsorship. That would be a good thing.”
Mackenzie did not comment on the sale directly, and no news has come since last week regarding the multi-billion dollar bid by the Qatari government and Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins. Given recent murmurings, it seems likely that there may be other parties competing to buy CVC’s stake as well.
CVC has tried to sell before, so given the opportunity, it seems likely they will indeed sell their stake for the right price. Bernie Ecclestone has also been implicated in talks of selling his shares, now reduced to a mere 5%, though he would ostensibly remain on-board as chief executive.