World Motor Sport Council to debate Liberty's F1 takeover

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The World Motor Sport Council will convene an extraordinary meeting next week to discuss the pending takeover of Formula One by the Liberty Media group.

The meeting will be held on January 19, the day after Liberty shareholders are scheduled to formally vote to approve the purchase of a further $1.55 billion stake in the sport, having already taken a 19.1 per cent interest in 2016.

The WMSC meeting is thought to be an important step in gaining the FIA's sign-off for the deal. Once the purchase is complete, Liberty will be renamed Formula One Group.

Liberty had previously stated that the shareholder gathering and formal FIA approval were all that remained for the takeover to be completed, having already received the necessary authorisations from relevant anti-trust authorities.

Prior to the WMSC, F1's Strategy Group and F1 Commission will gather to discuss potential rule changes for 2017, as well as for future seasons beyond that.

Liberty has already suggested several ideas for how it would like the sport to develop in the future, suggesting that the aim should be to have every Grand Prix be perceived by fans as "the equivalent of the Super Bowl."

Liberty has also made clear that it plans to overhaul Formula One's marketing services, especially in regard to digital channels where a new technology partner will be recruited to allow the development of virtual reality coverage of races.

"There's no marketing, no research, no data, no digital platforms," an executive told the Financial Times last month. "This sport has unique global content and hasn't done enough to take advantage of that. We need to build the rivalries and enable people to understand the technology that goes into the sport."

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