Since Liberty Media has taken over Formula 1, the sport has undergone a real makeover. For example, real work has been done on a budget ceiling and a fairer distribution of prize money.
With these changes, Formula 1 wants to attract new investors to the sport, such as MSP Sports Capital, which invested around 215 million euros in McLaren Racing at the end of last year. Last month there were also rumors that American Andretti Autosport would like to take over the Alfa Romeo F1 team and although that has fizzled out, it does mean that interest in F1 has grown.
Zak Brown tells ‘The Race’ that he thinks it is likely that F1 teams will soon be able to set foot alongside several other multi-billion-dollar sports.
“I think Formula 1 teams can certainly be worth billions,” Brown said recently. “There are a lot of sports franchises like NFL, NHL, Premier League, NBA etc, which are worth billions.”
“Now that Liberty has made the sport financially viable and sustainable, we are seeing rapid growth in countries looking to host F1 races.
“McLaren will be a profitable racing team in the not-too-distant future. Before the budget cap came into effect, I don’t think you could have said that.”
“It was a sport where you had to spend as much as the biggest publisher in the sport, so the franchise was more about who could afford to lose the most and that’s not really an attractive franchise model for a lot of people.”
“So I think this fundamentally changed things.”
Brown also knows it’s difficult to compare but he finds it at least remarkable that several of the teams from those other sports prove to be worth more than F1 teams like Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren.
“When you look at the size, scale and importance of Formula 1 compared to those other competitions, you kind of scratch your head and wonder why some of these teams are worth more than McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull?”
“I think the answer has been historical, because the sport is consuming money financially, but now that Liberty has changed that structure, I think that’s why you see real sports investors coming and investors in general.”
“I think we’ll be here in three, four, five years and see Formula 1 teams sell for over a billion dollars, assuming someone wants to sell.”
“The fact that no one wants to sell drives up the price and that’s a great price to pay.”
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