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>> The biggest Formula One shakeup in decades, ringing in a new era for motorsport. US sports and entertainment firm Liberty Media confirming it will take an initial 18.7% stake in F1 from controlling shareholder CVC Capital, planning to secure the rest by next March. It's a deal thought to be worth around $8 billion in total.
Alan Baldwin in London is Reuters motor racing correspondent.>> I think a lot of people in the sport will be hoping that it will cement the older races in Europe, the Silverstone, Monza, those races that are historic, that the fans love, that are struggling to pay the hosting fees.
It may safeguard them. It will develop the sport in new areas, the States, win fans over in other areas like China and the Middle East and the Far East. I think the view in the sport is, at the moment, positive and optimistic that this will do a lot of things that needed doing and haven't been done so far.
>> Although he'll stay put as CEO, this could mean an early exit for Bernie Ecclestone. The 85-year-old Brit has been in charge of Formula One for nearly 40 years, transforming it into one of the world's most lucrative sports. Reluctant to delegate, Ecclestone hasn't groomed a successor.>> He's always been, basically, a bit of a dictator, and he knows all the secrets.
He doesn't use email much, he doesn't use conventional methods, so a lot of deals are done on handshakes. So he knows what's been done. It will take some time to unravel that and he hasn't ever really worked with somebody. I think it is right that he stays, because he knows the business.
But when you're 86, there is no long-term, perhaps.>> He's also be criticized for failing to embrace new media or the digital marketplace, something Liberty Media is likely to focus on from the get-go.