Liberty Media-owned Formula One has accused FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem of interfering with its industrial rights by publicly questioning a reported $20 billion valuation of the game.
Ben Sulayem, an Emirati elected in 2021 to the highest job at Formula One’s governing physique, took to Twitter on Monday after Bloomberg reported Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) explored a bid for greater than that quantity.
As the custodians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organisation, is cautious about alleged inflated worth tags of $20bn being placed on F1. (1/3)
— Mohammed Ben Sulayem (@Ben_Sulayem) January 23, 2023
“As the custodians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organisation, is cautious about alleged inflated price tags of $20bn being put on F1,” Ben Sulayem stated on his private account.
“Any potential buyer is advised to apply common sense, consider the greater good of the sport and come with a clear, sustainable plan — not just a lot of money.”
He instructed the FIA had an obligation to think about the doable detrimental affect on followers and promoters, who might need to pay extra.
The feedback adopted his assist this month for Michael Andretti’s bid to enter an eleventh group on the grid — a transfer most present groups are immune to due to the dilution of revenues.
They additionally gas the sense of an rising turf battle between the governing physique and a industrial rights holder desperate to develop an increasing and more and more well-liked championship in new instructions.
Sky Sports News reported that Formula One’s authorized head Sacha Woodward Hill and Liberty Media counterpart Renee Wilm had despatched a joint letter to the FIA accusing the governing physique of exceeding its remit.
The FIA finally owns the rights to the championship however signed them over to former supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management in a 100-year deal in 2001 as a part of a separation of economic and regulatory actions.
“The FIA has given unequivocal undertakings that it will not do anything to prejudice the ownership, management and/or exploitation of those rights,” Sky quoted Formula One’s letter as saying.
“We consider that those comments, made from the FIA president’s official social media account, interfere with those rights in an unacceptable manner.”
The letter, despatched to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council, stated the feedback risked publicity to “serious regulatory consequences” and the FIA is also liable.
“Any individual or organisation commenting on the value of a listed entity or its subsidiaries, especially claiming or implying possession of inside knowledge while doing so, risks causing substantial damage to the shareholders and investors of that entity,” they stated.
Sources confirmed to Reuters that the small print have been right and groups acquired copies of the letter on Tuesday from F1 chief government Stefano Domenicali.
There was no remark from Formula One and no fast response from the FIA.