Marko wary of F1 being sold to “culturally different” Saudi Arabia

Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko has expressed his concerns over F1 potentially being sold to Saudi Arabia amid reports over a sizable bid.
Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport
Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund was prepared to make a $20bn (£16bn) bid for F1.

Given that Liberty Media paid less than half of that back in 2017, the current owners of F1 could make a serious profit should they decide to sell.

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The speculation was met with polarising thoughts, with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem questioning the hefty price tag.

In response to this, F1 lawyers wrote to the FIA, accusing Ben Sulayem of “interfering” in an “unacceptable manner”.

Speaking about the speculation in an interview with RTL, Marko admitted the potential bid was a “good sign” for the sport but was wary about Saudi Arabia’s interest.

"I think it wouldn't be so good if it went to a country that is culturally different from where most of the races take place,” he said.

“And generally it's a commercial thing, and that's more likely to happen with someone who meets normal corporate standards, if you want to put it that way.”

(L to R): Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport Consultant celebrates on the podium with Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull
(L to R): Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport Consultant celebrates…

Marko has also slammed the FIA for their stance on not allowing drivers to express “political, personal or religious” views amid a new clampdown.

The move has also been criticised by Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas, while former F1 driver and current Channel 4 commentator David Coulthard has been more supportive.

Giving his view, Marko said: “This decision is clearly wrong,” Marko added. “[Drivers] are responsible citizens who are in the global public eye and know how, and what, they have to say.

“In general, we are in a democratic society and everyone can express their opinion.”

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