Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff says he wants Formula 1’s prospective new owners to show “long-term perspective and vision” if a buyer is found in the near future.
Wolff was giving his reaction to the bombshell that Bernie Ecclestone dropped earlier today during the Camp Beckenbauer sports business forum at Kitzbuhel in Austria, when the F1 commercial rights holder said that he expected new shareholders to enter the F1 ownership structure “this year”.
“Bernie is always good for a headline,” said Wolff. “And headlines and controversy are a big part of Formula 1 that sells.
“As a matter of fact, the owners of the sport are investment companies: CVC has owned the sport for a long time, some of the other investment funds have been in there and made great returns, and it is clear that eventually they would sell the business, because that is not the core of their business.
“For us, we are participating as a team, it’s important that we have a sustainable shareholder with a long-term perspective and vision, and whoever that might be we are looking at with interest."
CVC has often been criticised from inside the Formula 1 paddock for its lack of investment, and the amount it takes out from the sport each year.
When asked if he had a preference of the three proposed buyers – who are said to hail from Qatar, the USA and Russia – Wolff replied: “Even if I had a preference, I have no say in who is the shareholder, so let’s wait and see.”