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New owners outline vision for F1

Charles Coates/Getty Images)

New Formula One owners Liberty Media have outlined the five key areas it will focus on growing in the sport following its successful $8.5 billion takeover.

On Wednesday Liberty Media confirmed it plans to acquire the controlling stake of Formula One from a group led by CVC Capital Partners. Commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone will stay on as the sport's CEO, while 21st Century Fox Vice-Chairman Chase Carey will become the sport's new chairman.

The group has released an overview of what the main areas of focus will be in the next few years. Under the sub-heading "Big Opportunity at Formula One", Liberty highlights the "opportunity to develop the sport for benefit of all stakeholders (fans, teams, partners, shareholders)", before narrowing it down to five:

  • Increase promotion and marketing of F1 as a sport and brand

  • Enhance distribution of content, especially in digital

  • Establish broader range of commercial partners, including sponsorship

  • Evolve race calendar

  • Leverage Liberty's expertise in live events and digital monetisation

Speaking at a conference call on Thursday, Carey outlined his vision for F1 and how he values the European market as highly as other continents the sport has recently ventured into.

"In terms of developing markets, clearly new markets are opportunities as a global sport, and we're excited about that, to grow the sport, expand the sport in places like the Americas and Asia," Carey said."But I want to be clear that, certainly, the established markets -- the home and foundation of Formula One is Europe in particular -- are of critical importance.

"Building the sport in Europe, building on that foundation, has got to be second to none. We do want to take advantage of the global footprint of this sport, we want to focus on it."

Carey also thinks F1 is going to have to take a long-term strategy to other key markets.

"In the longer term, markets like the US and key Asian markets are opportunities to develop. We're not going to do that overnight.

"But there are huge audiences there. If we reach those fans using digital platforms and some of the tools that haven't been exploited aggressively, we can build a whole new generation of fans in places that, historically, have been as significant a part of the Formula One fanbase."