Liberty takeover positive for Formula One: Horner

Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:16pm EDT
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By John O'Brien

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Liberty Media's takeover of Formula One will help the sport crack the U.S. market and bring in a strategy to ensure the long-term success of motor sport's most prestigious series.

The deal struck earlier this month is valued at $8 billion including debt and gives the American media and telecoms business effective control of a sport run for so long by British chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

"From what we've heard so far it sounds very positive," Horner told reporters after free practice for the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday.

"They are part of a very serious group and I can't believe that a company like Liberty would buy into Formula One at a value rumored to have been purchased at without having a long-term game plan.

"Rather than a venture capitalist of financial institution buying into the sport, I think its far better for Formula One that a company like Liberty have bought in and that will address some of the areas where we have been weak previously," he added.

"Hopefully for the U.S. market, that could be a great thing and on other platforms like digital and social could also be very interesting.

"So we'll wait and see what their plans and details are but what we've heard so far sounds pretty positive."

The Briton is also keen to see Liberty play a leading role in Formula One's strategy in an arena where the teams are often at loggerheads over the future direction of the series.   Continued...

Britain Formula One - F1 - British Grand Prix 2016 - Silverstone, England - 10/7/16
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner before the race
REUTERS/Matthew Childs