FIA 'not involved' in News Corp talks

FIA president Jean Todt says there is little point in the governing body getting involved in discussions about the future ownership of Formula 1 - despite suggesting it was 'strange' that News Corporation and the Exor Group announced their interest so publicly

FIA 'not involved' in News Corp talks

After a surge of speculation about the future path of grand prix racing in the wake of Exor announcing a tie-up with News Corp to discuss future possibilities in F1, Todt has reiterated that the FIA is purely a regulator - so does not meddle with the commercial exploitation of grand prix racing.

"As you know the FIA is the regulator of the sport, so it is not involved with commercial matters," he said in Turkey. "F1 commercial rights do belong to CVC, and the CEO of CVC is Bernie Ecclestone. From what I know, CVC has no intention to sell. Will it be true in five years or 10 years? It is not a question for me; it is a question for CVC.

"If one day CVC is deciding that they want to sell the rights they have for the commercial organisation of F1... if it is during the period of my mandate, I need to speak with my people in the FIA to give an agreement about whether they are happy with the people who take over or whether we are not happy.

"And if I may say, another comment, but it is just an opinion, I feel it is strange to say: 'we want to buy before we know it is for sale'. The first action will be whoever is keen to take over the commercial rights, to find out with CVC, its CEO, and chairman of CVC, what is the situation with the commercial rights of F1."

The FIA has a famous veto, known as the 'Don King Clause' about the ownership of F1 - which gives it the right to reject the takeover of the sport by an organisation that it is not happy with.

Todt also clarified that although the FIA may not be delighted with the fees that the governing body got several years ago from the sale of F1's commercial rights for the next century, there was nothing it could do to change that now.

"You will say it's not a lot of money but it is a deal that was signed 10 years ago," he said. "Things have changed but at that time, everybody thought it was a good deal. That is life.

"You may buy a house 10 years ago and it increases in value by tenfold, but that is life. You have to accept it."

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