F1 owners Liberty Media could be set to quit sport just two years after £6bn purchase

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FORMULA ONE owners, Liberty Media, could be about to sell up, according to former Pirelli boss Paul Hembery.

Liberty only bought F1 two years ago for £6billion but there is a growing feeling they could be about to put the sport on the market.

F1 owners Liberty Media could be set to quit sport just two years after £6bn purchaseMERCEDES3 Formula One was bought by Liberty Media two years ago for £6billion

While there is no official announcement from Liberty, Hembery believes people would be willing to buy it.

When quizzed by SunSport if they had put the sport up for sale, Hembery said: "That's what everyone is saying.

"I guess it depends what the price is and who wants to be involved in it.

"Liberty have not come out and said the sport is up for sale, but that is what the perception is.

F1 owners Liberty Media could be set to quit sport just two years after £6bn purchasePA:Press Association3 Lewis Hamilton, right, is the current world champ and will aim to defend his title in the coming season

"That may or may not be true and I am sure they would deny it if they were asked directly but it creates another level of uncertainty.

"I am quite sure they have some question marks about the complexity of the sport, I am sure it is more complex than they anticipated.

"I was reading an interview with [Red Bull boss] Christian Horner who said something similar.

"It is a difficult sport to manage and you have to have strong leadership."

Last month, the Formula One Promoters' Association took aim at Liberty and issued a strong statement raising serious concerns at the way the sport was being run.

And Hembery says if Liberty do stick it out with F1, then they need to take advantage of rewriting the rulebook for the 2021 season.

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Currently, the teams, the FIA and the sport's owners have not yet come close to finalising plans beyond the end of next year.

He added: "It was notable, the letter from the promoters asking for clarity about the future, so you have a lot of people who are concerned.

"The concern is that if you don't make the most of the opportunity now then you risk another 10 years of a slow mechanism of change.

"There needs to be a point where you see the plan and people can buy into it and get behind it.

"Liberty have had two years to look at the sport and see what challenges there are. They have come in with a number of ideas.

F1 owners Liberty Media could be set to quit sport just two years after £6bn purchasePA:Press Association3 Pirelli chief Paul Hembery thinks Liberty Media could be open to selling F1

"But the bottom line is the product itself is not enough to make it compelling viewing for everybody.

"There is a great opportunity coming up with the new commercial agreement with the teams and allow the sport to make changes and transform it into something more appealing to an audience that has changed over the years.

"This sport needs the drivers to be king. They have to be the central focus of the sport and somewhere we are nowhere near at the moment.

"People still ask the question at the end of each season 'who is the best driver?' and that is the sad point, that you cannot prove one driver is better than the other."

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