FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that F1's teams are actively proceeding with the possibility of acquiring a stake in the sport by engaging advisors to run the rule over suggestions of a buy-in.
The McLaren team boss told Britain's Independent
newspaper that DC Advisory Partners had been asked to evaluate the relative risk and reward of the teams approaching commercial rights owner CVC in order to cement their involvement in the future of the sport. The company, which operates Europe-wide, will also assess other options for FOTA over the next few months, amid speculation that Rupert Murdoch's disgraced News International operation could be interested in taking over the commercial side of the sport.
CVC maintains that it is not interested in selling any of the rights it acquired in 2006, but Whitmarsh remains convinced that the time will come when the investment company will look to offload its investment..
"At the end of the day, F1 is owned by venture capitalists and one would suspect that they can't hold the sport in their funds ad infinitum
," he said, before admitting that the majority of those involved in running the teams were not best placed to advise on the rights and wrongs of taking control of the sport itself.
FOTA is expected to make a bide for greater control of both the running and revenue of the sport when it comes to agreeing terms on a new Concorde Agreement at the end of next year. The suggestion that it may look to acquire at least a portion of CVC's stake was first mooted by Williams chairman Adam Parr earlier this year.