Liberty preparing F1 for ‘Brexit’

Mar.6 (GMM) Liberty Media is working on “contingency plans” in the event that a so-called ‘no deal Brexit’ proceeds at the end of the month.

Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff has already warned that Britain’s impending exit from the European Union would be the “mother of all messes” for the sport’s multiple UK-based teams.

Chase Carey, the F1 chief executive, says Liberty is aware of the potential problems.

“We do not know what will happen any more than anyone else does,” he said.

“We are making contingency plans for trying to make sure we are prepared to deal with the issues that could possibly arise that would make getting people and things in and out of the UK more difficult,” Carey added at the Geneva motor show.

For instance, Liberty Media currently helps the teams to transport their equipment in and out of Britain.

“We obviously can bring them in and out of somewhere else,” he said.

More broadly, Carey defended Liberty’s running of F1, even amid reports that the overall income of the sport is dropping year on year.

Christian Sylt, an F1 business journalist for Forbes, said the sport could lose a further $130 million if contracts with five races are not renewed.

But Carey says Liberty is “laying the foundation for long-term growth”.

“We had the feeling that it was a sport that historically had a short-term goal. We wanted to build a base on which we could grow,” he added.

Dismissing the news about F1’s declining revenue, Carey said Liberty had instead “created a new momentum”.

“F1 is the fastest growing major sport on social media for the past two years. We are very excited about what’s ahead in 2019 and 2020,” he said.

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