Ferrari wants Liberty to make F1 plans clear before buying shares

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Ferrari CEO and president Sergio Marchionne says he wants Liberty Media to make its plans for Formula 1 clear before the Italian marque will consider buying shares in the sport.

Liberty completed its planned takeover of F1 two weeks ago, with American executive Chase Carey become the sport’s new CEO following Bernie Ecclestone’s resignation.

As part of Liberty’s plans for F1, $400 million worth of shares in the sport have been put aside for teams to buy in the next six months.

Speaking during a conference call with Ferrari investors, Marchionne said that preliminary talks had taken place with Liberty regarding a stake in F1, but that he would need greater clarity of its future plans before agreeing to any deal.

“We started exploring that opportunity now. We’re in discussions with Liberty, I just recently had a meeting with Chase,” Marchionne said.

“The issue is not just a question of the financial investment. It’s something we do for a living and in a very serious way.

“The Concorde Agreement expires in 2020, so becoming a non-voting shareholder in an entity which effectively keeps us trapped in without knowledge of what the 2021 and later world will look like is something I consider unwise.

“So one of the things that we have tabled with Chase, and I think we are not the only ones who are tabling these concerns, is clarity on what the post-2020 world will look like and what Ferrari may be able to get from its involvement in Formula 1 activities.

“Once we have clarity, then I think it becomes a lot easier to decide if we want to participate in this venture.

“I think there’s a huge amount of upsides left in F1 which if properly managed can deliver rewards to everyone who’s an investor in this business.

“But we need clarity and we’re not there yet.”

Teams have until July 23 to buy a stake in F1, after which date any unissued shares will be retired.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III