Liberty Media advance payments to struggling teams

Michelle Foster
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Liberty Media has already stepped in to help a few of Formula 1’s struggling teams, advancing payments to help them through the financial crisis.

Six weeks after the Australian Grand Prix was scheduled to be run and Formula 1 has yet to turn a wheel in anger.

Since Australia, the list of races being either cancelled or postponed has grown with nine on the list and France expected to become number 10.

The delay is costing the teams millions with FIA president Jean Todt warning that F1 “cannot rule out” losing a team or three.

Liberty Media, Formula One’s owner, has stepped in to help.

“We have advanced money in advance of team payments for certain teams already,” Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei told Reuters.

“There are cases where we may do more of that; there are other things that we might do to bridge teams that might need help.

“We’re certainly not viewing this as an open chequebook.

“But we understand this is a little different than say Live Nation which does do advances to artists but the scale here is much larger in terms of what a team requires.

“(These are) teams which we want to make sure are solvent because they are part of what we need to race successfully in 2020, 2021, and beyond.”

He did not reveal which of the 10 teams had received the payments.

Maffei revealed that Liberty Media had undertaken a “re-attribution” of assets between its companies with Formula One getting a net cash payment of $1.4 billion.

“We looked at a range of opportunities to see how F1 could secure incremental liquidity,” Maffei added. “Including potentially selling a stake to others, including raising capital in other formats. And we believed this was the most efficient.”

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