Horner: Liberty F1 takeover ‘could be a great thing’ for US market

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Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner believes that Liberty Media’s takeover of Formula 1 “could be a great thing” for the sport in the United States.

Following the Italian Grand Prix, Liberty Media Corporation confirmed it would be taking over F1 in an $8 billion deal, set to be completed in the spring of 2017.

New F1 chairman Chase Carey (pictured above) made his first appearance in the paddock in Singapore on Friday with CEO Bernie Ecclestone.

During Friday’s FIA press conference, a number of team principals including Horner were asked what impact they expected Liberty’s takeover to have on F1.

“I think with what we’ve heard so far it sounds very positive,” Horner said.

“They are obviously part of a very serious group and I can’t believe a company like Liberty would buy into Formula 1 at the value that it is rumored to have been purchased at without having a long-term game plan.

“Rather than having a venture capitalist or a financial institution buying into the sport, I think it’s far better for the start that a company like Liberty has bought in and hopefully that will address some of the areas we have been weak in previously.”

Being an American company, many are expecting Liberty’s arrival to result in an expansion of F1’s interests in the United States.

“I think hopefully for the US market it could be a great thing and some of the other platforms like the digital and social platforms could also be very interesting,” Horner said.

“So I think we’ll wait to hear what their plans are in detail but everything we have heard so far has been very positive.”

Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner echoed Horner’s thoughts on the US market, adding the American team would be happy to help Liberty’s efforts.

“Being an American company, I hope, as Christian said, there is big potential in the States,” Steiner said.

“So we being an American team we hope they bring that to fruition, that market, and that we can all have gains on it.

“We are more than happy to help them to do anything they need to do in the United States.”

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.