'Report' out of left field claims Liberty could sell F1!


The internet is buzzing this morning with a story claiming that Liberty Media could be looking to unload Formula One from its books.

The 'report' - or rather vague causerie - emanated from an obscure source called 'John Wall Street' and states that Liberty could be ready to throw in the towel with regard to Grand Prix racing less than three years after acquiring the sport from its previous owner, CVC Capital Partners.

JWS invokes Liberty's failure to "add races and /or major sponsors, attract young fans or drive digital revenues" as a justification for billionaire John Malone's media empire to ditch F1.

While an event in Miami hasn't been secured, and is still in the works according to F1 CEO Chase Carey, Liberty has in fact added Vietnam to the calendar, whether pundits approve or not of F1's expansion into exotic territories with no motorsport heritage.

By the same token, the Philippines and Manila have apparently also been put in the pipeline, a fact that perhaps contradicts a so-called disengagement on the part of Liberty.

However, JWS' claim that no major sponsors have been brought on board by Liberty is legitimate. But it remains to be seen if that shortfall is linked to a lack of appeal of F1 or more specifically to a global economic slowdown.

Finally, as if the headline itself wasn't enough to generate skepticism about the story's veracity, JWS tells us to "keep an eye on former owner Bernie Ecclestone, the British business magnate has the capital, know-how and can likely reclaim the asset back for a fraction of the $8 billion he sold it for".

While we're sure that Bernie will be wheeling and dealing - and schmoozing - into his grave, it's hard to believe that at 88, the great man would be inclined to pick up where he left off two years ago.

It's also highly doubtful the sport's teams and manufacturers would rejoice and welcome back Mr. E with fanfare.

We'll file this one under "disingenuous hogwash insinuation".

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