F1 empresario Bernie Ecclestone has stated that he believes the sport will be sold by the end of the year, as interest from three parties continues to grow.
Reports emerged in June that a consortium was planning to buy the majority share of Formula One Group, but it would now appear that they face competition from other bidders.
Ecclestone has said, however, that he has been asked to remain as commercial chief, a role that he has occupied since 1978, should there be a change in ownership.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, Ecclestone commented: There has been a lot of interest and there are three [interested parties] at the moment. I will be surprised if one of them does not buy them shortly.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, who was also present in the conference, warned that it is important that the sport has a “sustainable shareholder with a long-term perspective and vision”.
Time for change
However, while Ecclestone has been instrumental in creating the modern face of the sport and securing its footing as one of the largest global events, I, like many, believe it is time for his departure.
This would provide a fresh start for the sport and provide an opportunity for a new approach to be implemented, which could be key to stemming the exodus of TV viewers and race-goers and help to attract a wider audience.
Yet, as Wolff so rightly points out, sustainability is key. Should any new owners be as dis-interested in the sport as current majority shareholders CVC have been, the grass may not be greener.
These are uncertain times for F1, its fans and the future of many teams on the grid. Let’s hope for some great on-track action this week to remind all why F1 is such a great spectacle.
What do you think? Is it a time for a change at the top? Leave your comments below and join the debate on Twitter @ApexRacingPR