It is exceptionally rare for Bernie Ecclestone to be shown the yellow flag when it comes to his Formula One business dealings, but that's what happened with two of his projects. A month ago, Ecclestone agreed to terms with France's sports minister David Douillet to reinstate the French Grand Prix at the Paul Ricard circuit (which Ecclestone happens to own). The contract hadn't been signed while minor details were settled, but the plan was that the French GP would alternate with the Belgian GP starting in 2013.

However, with the defeat of French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the election of François Hollande, new reports suggest that everything from the previous regime will come under review. And it seems unlikely that Hollande, who was voted in by taxpayers who wanted more for their money and their economic pain, will agree to have the state subsidize the race. Said the president-elect, "I do not think the French state should be responsible for any financial outlay. There are enough issues to consider without spending tens of millions of euros on a grand prix."

And across the world in Singapore, the GP is safe but the planned F1 Initial Public Offering in the nation-state now has a question mark after it. The squalls in the market that have depressed stock markets everywhere have IPO insiders cautious on the endeavor. Word is that they'll see how the imminent Facebook IPO fares and how the market responds before making a decision. There is also the matter of the Mercedes-Benz not having signed the Concorde Agreement, and Daimler says it needs to get that settled before F1 can go public. According to Reuters, if the offering isn't conducted by June then it – and the estimated $2 billion it is expected to raise – might have to wait until next year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Hatzenbach
      • 2 Years Ago
      wait: it's his racing series and it's also his track (the one in france, i forgot the name) so why does he need subsidies? to pay his own ridiculously high fees?
      SuperSkyline89
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm glad it's in danger. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to go back to France but Spa is a classic and NOTHING should endanger it.
      thedriveatfive
      • 2 Years Ago
      All that money and they still couldent fix his face.
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who needs daytime TV when you have the drama that is this dude and his operation.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the GP will cost Bernie any money, forget about it happening.
        Shiftright
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Well, you know supermodel girlfriends aren't cheap
          SloopJohnB
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Shiftright
          Not to mention whips and chains and Nazi uniforms.
          Drakkon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Shiftright
          They should be a lot cheaper with a steady diet of breath mints and Kleenex.
        RGT881
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        And yet Silverstone and Melbourne are still around. Spa came back. As for France, well, as Jame May put it so eloquently, they're all coal-burning communists. I think Hollande views F1 as an elitist sport for rich and famous and that's not inline with his vision for France. Although France will soon be in scope once again. It's definitely been an interesting year. As for the IPO, I'm surprised by the timing because world economy is slowing down, banks are still insolvent, and going public in such a volatile and uncertain environment is questionable. We'll see how Facebook fares. Personally I think it's an over-hyped joke.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bernie got flagged for fugly.
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ooo! I have a happy thought. Wait until Bernie dies and all this mess gets spread around his estate. I'm sure the children, ex-wives, attorneys and long-lost Albanian aunts will run F1 in a much more transparent style.
      chr325c
      • 2 Years Ago
      So F1 gets the 'F-U'? Sorry Bernie...this time The Hobbit doesn't win.
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