FEBRUARY 26, 2002
Car manufacturers will consider Kirch deal
MERCEDES-BENZ boss Jurgen Hubbert says that the automobile manufacturers might buy the commercial rights to Formula 1 racing if the Kirch Group came up with a sensible price - but he has refused to say what that price would be. The car manufacturers are currently planning their own World Championship to begin in 2008 and the cost of setting that up is not going to be cheap. Buying the rights from Kirch would be a lot simpler but Kirch is not going to give the rights away. Rumors that Bernie Ecclestone would buy back the rights for $700m were rejected by a Kirch spokesman and so one must presume that no deal would be done for less than that sum. This however is a lot of money for the manufacturers.
It is interesting nonetheless that Hubbert is expressing interest in the business - which was previously not the case.