The financial issues facing F1

The financial issues facing F1

The ever-expanding Formula 1 calendar suggests the world championship is in healthy shape, but Dieter Rencken argues that ominous cracks are starting to appear in the sport's financial model

Speed is paramount in Formula 1, but is the sport in danger of sacrificing the quality of what should surely be a world class spectacle in favour of earning fast bucks for CVC Partners, the sport's commercial rights holder whose original investment made five years ago has virtually been repaid in full, leaving the venture fund to profiteer from the sport for decades - 10 of them - to come?

On the evidence it would certainly appear so, for cracks are starting to appear across the board, be it circuit owners and promoters reporting record losses; four teams allegedly for sale at bargain basement prices – one is said to have dropped 70 per cent in 10 months – that no 13th team could be found to replace the liquidated USF1 operation; or that Korea's original FIA inspection date - already well outside FIA guidelines - has reportedly been further pushed back due to work not being completed. The list is by no means complete, either.

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