Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The race for F1's $3.7bn revenue

For the past month Formula One's paddock has been abuzz with rumours that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp media company would take over F1. Would it involve the sport switching to his pay-per-view television channels? Would F1's boss Bernie Ecclestone be sidelined? Would the teams and F1's governing body the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) agree to the deal? These are just a few of the questions which have been swirling around the sport but one particularly big one still remains unanswered: will News Corp ever actually make a bid?

Given the amount which has been written about News Corp's interest in F1 it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that the private equity firm CVC, the current owner of the sport, had already sold it to the media company. In fact, this couldn't be much further from the truth and all the signs suggest that News Corp will never make a bid.

The origin of the news about News Corp's interest in F1 is itself somewhat of a give-away that the media company's aim is not to make a bid. In April Sky News reported that News Corp has been in early stage talks with "people connected to at least one of F1's big car manufacturers" about collaborating on a prospective takeover of F1. However, it added that "there is a good chance that News Corp's deliberations and talks with outside partners will not ultimately lead to a bid."

F1 : Nico Rosberg set to sign Formula 1 drive extension to 2016 with Mercedes

Nico Rosberg could be the next top Formula One driver under long term contract.

Hot on the heels of Sebastian Vettel's new 2014 deal, and Fernando Alonso's tying to Ferrari through 2016, it is reported that German Rosberg could be set to sign on for five more years with Mercedes.

Sport Bild magazine said the deal is worth almost EUR80 million in total, representing a 3 million Euro pay rise increasing by 10 percent per season.

"I am counting on him being with us in 2012, and if it is up to me, a lot longer as well," said the German marque's motor racing Vice President Norbert Haug.

25 year old Rosberg did not deny the story.

"What I can say is that I'm really happy where I am. It remains my dream to succeed with the Silver Arrows," he said.

Sport Bild said Rosberg, if he does sign the deal, would become the highest paid driver of all time who has not won a single Grand Prix.

He has contested 95 Grands Prix to date, and if he does go on to win he will join the likes of Mika Hakkinen (96 races), Giancarlo Fisichella (110), Jenson Button (113), Jarno Trulli (118), Rubens Barrichello (123) and Mark Webber (130) as the drivers who took longest to join the ranks of Formula 1 victors.