Commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has played down reports that F1 could be up for sale after a Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation group revealed it is considering an approach to gain control of the sport along with Italian investment group Exor.

News Corp has been linked to the sport for a number of weeks, although the news that Exor - which owns a large percentage of Ferrari's parent company Fiat - was involved was only made public earlier this week when a statement was released confirming that a takeover was being considered.

While News Corp and Exor are believed to now be planning talks with a number of potential investors before a final decision is taken over whether to push ahead with the takeover plans, Ecclestone has made light of the development by insisting that CVC has no intention of relinquishing control.

"You would think if somebody wanted to buy it they would approach the people who own it to see if they want to sell it," he told The Guardian. "Personally, I know CVC don't want to sell, so it's going to be a bit difficult. I can see CVC in for the long haul, absolutely, 100 per cent.

"If somebody came along and offered them a lot more money than it's worth, they would obviously say: 'Sit down, let's have a chat.' But I get the distinct feeling that's not going to happen.

"I can't understand why a company as big as News Corp need to keep looking for partners. First it was Carlos Slim, and now we've a new one."



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