Saudi Arabia Tried to Purchase F1 for $20 Billion

A photo of fireworks of the Saudi Arabian grand prix track.

Saudi Arabia: Every thing the sunshine touches… is our kingdom.
Photograph: Clive Mason (Getty Photographs)

It’s wonderful what you are able to do when your nation is house to the third most precious pure useful resource reserve on this planet. Simply this 12 months, Saudi Arabia has tried to coax F1 groups out to the Center East, confirmed it’ll be a fixture on the F1 calendar for not less than the remainder of the last decade and now teased a plan to try to purchase your complete rattling sport.

The most recent improvement in Saudi Arabia’s sluggish takeover of top-tier motorsport got here to mild in a brand new report from Bloomberg. Based on the positioning, the nation’s sovereign wealth fund tried to purchase Formulation 1 from its present homeowners, Liberty Media, for “properly above $20 billion.”

Saudi Arabia has reportedly spent greater than $1.5 billion investing in numerous sports activities franchises in recent times. Based on a report from human rights group Grant Liberty, the nation has backed all the things from chess and golf to tennis and horse racing in an try and “wash over” its poor human rights document.

A photo of Kevin Magnussen acing his Haas F1 car in Saudi Arabia.

Nothing to see right here, simply speedy, speedy race automobiles.
Photograph: Clive Mason (Getty Photographs)

To this point, the nation has additionally plowed greater than $600 million into top-tier motorsport, with the Formulation 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix being a fixture on the game’s calendar till 2030. To this point, this has seen F1 host two occasions within the nation with a 3rd on the Jeddah Corniche circuit on the calendar for 2023.

Now, the nation is trying to up its ties to motorsport. Based on Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund “thought of an try” to buy F1 outright from its present homeowners, Liberty Media. The deal valued the game at “properly above $20 billion,” which is greater than 4 instances the $4.6bn Liberty purchased the game for in 2017. Bloomberg reviews:

“A possible deal faltered within the early phases final 12 months as F1’s proprietor Liberty Media Corp. was not fascinated with promoting the high-profile franchise, which Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF) valued at properly above $20 billion together with debt, the individuals stated.

“The PIF stays within the asset and could be a critical bidder ought to Liberty Media change its thoughts and determine to promote, the individuals stated, asking to not be recognized discussing confidential info.”

The deal is the newest try from Saudi Arabia to try to entice F1 out east. Final week, we reported on a transfer from the nation to try to persuade groups like McLaren and Aston Martin to maneuver to Saudi Arabia’s new Neom metropolis, which is at present below development.

A photo of two f1 cars racing in Saudi Arabia.

So blurry you’ll be able to’t fairly make out the human rights violations.
Photograph: Clive Mason (Getty Photographs)

However F1 isn’t the one top-tier sport that’s attracting the eye of Saudi Arabia, the nation has additionally plowed funds into English Premier League soccer membership Newcastle United FC and hosted main boxing meets.

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