Saudi Arabia tried to pay $20 billion to buy F1.
Saudi Arabia tried to pay $20 billion to buy F1.

The shareholders of the Formula One Group ran it through the Delta Topco holding company. Through a number of holding companies registered in the UK, Jersey, and Luxembourg, Delta Topco controls the SLEC Holdings company, which is the direct owner of the Formula One Group.

Formula One logo since 2018


Formula One (F1) is the Federation International automobile’s (FIA) top class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars . Since 1950, the World Drivers’ Championship, which became the FIA Formula One World Championship in 1981, has been one of the world’s top racing series.

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Formula One vehicles have the fastest cornering speeds in the world due to their enormous aerodynamic downforce.

The average annual cost of running a team—designing, building, and maintaining vehicles, pay, transport—is US$265 million. Its financial and political disputes are extensively covered. Liberty Media bought Formula One Group from CVC Capital Partners for $8 billion on January 23, 2017.

The Saudi Proposal

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia thought about spending $20 billion to buy Formula One.


When your country has the third most valuable natural resource reserve in the world, it’s amazing what you can do. This year alone, Saudi Arabia has tried to bring Formula One teams to the Middle East, said it will be on the F1 schedule for at least the next 10 years, and now hinted at a plan to try to buy the whole sport.

In a new report from Bloomberg, the latest step in Saudi Arabia’s slow takeover of top-level motorsport was revealed. The site says that the country’s sovereign wealth fund tried to buy Formula 1 for “well above $20 billion” from its current owners, Liberty Media.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia is said to have spent more than $1.5 billion on sports franchises. A report from the human rights group Grant Liberty says that the country has spent money on everything from chess and golf to tennis and horse racing to “wash over” its bad human rights record.

How quickly can an F1 car go F1, IndyCar, MotoGP, and other top speeds.
How quickly can an F1 car go F1, IndyCar, MotoGP, and other top speeds.

The country has also spent more than $600 million on top-level motorsports, and the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be held there every year until 2030. So far, F1 has held two races in the country, and a third is scheduled for 2023 at the Jeddah Corniche circuit.

Now, the country wants to get more involved in motorsport. Bloomberg says that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund “thought about making an attempt” to buy F1 outright from Liberty Media, which owns it now. The deal put the sport’s worth at “well over $20 billion,” which is more than four times what Liberty paid for it in 2017 (which was $4.6 billion). Bloomberg reports:

“A possible deal fell through at the beginning of last year because F1’s owner, Liberty Media Corp., didn’t want to sell the high-profile franchise, which Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) valued at well over $20 billion with debt, according to the people.

“The PIF is still interested in the asset, and if Liberty Media changes its mind and decides to sell, the PIF would be a serious bidder,” said the people, who asked not to be named because they were talking about confidential information.

The deal is Saudi Arabia’s latest attempt to bring F1 to the east. We told you last week about a move from the country to try to get teams like McLaren and Aston Martin to move to the new city of Neom, which is being built in Saudi Arabia.

So fuzzy that you can’t quite see the violations of human rights.

But F1 isn’t the only top-level sport that Saudi Arabia is interested in. The country has also given money to the English Premier League soccer team Newcastle United FC and hosted major boxing matches.

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