Rumor: Apple latest bidder for Formula 1 race series

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2016
According to rumors aired on Wednesday, Apple might be in the market to take ownership of embattled high-speed racing series Formula One as a means to increase automotive industry visibility ahead of "Apple Car."


Kimi Raikonnen pilots his Ferrari at Silverstone Circuit. | F1.com


In a post to his blog on Wednesday, noted F1 blogger Joe Saward said the latest rumors out of Formula 1 headquarters in Princes Gate, England, suggest a new round of due diligence is currently underway in preparation of a possible bid from Apple.

Saward was unable to nail down details, or indeed procure any concrete information beyond hearsay, though it is widely known that "F1 Supremo" and British businessman Bernie Ecclestone is looking for a buyer. Last year, a report from The Sun indicated CVC, a holding company that purchased a controlling interest in the 40-year-old sport in 2007, agreed to sell its remaining 35-percent share for 6 billion pounds (more than $8.5 billion at the time) to unnamed parties.

That deal apparently fell through, though Ecclestone and company are said to be keen on unloading their stake.

A bid anywhere near the 2015 figure would represent a huge shift in business strategy for Apple, a company known to purchase smaller firms and startups, not big-ticket items like a major racing establishment. As Saward notes, however, Apple would stand to gain valuable digital content rights for Apple TV .

More importantly, F1 buys access to the automotive racing world, particularly car makers and top-tier teams like Ferrari and Williams Martini Racing. Apple's rumored in-house electric car initiative, dubbed "Project Titan," would no doubt benefit a great deal from connections made at what many consider to be auto sports' top echelon.

Coincidentally, a successful bid also buys a seat at F1's governing body, the F?d?ration Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), which also oversees the up-and-coming, and more germane to the so-called "Apple Car," Formula E electric car series.

Neither Apple nor the Formula One Group responded to requests for comment.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 265member
    99.9% of all rumors are just rumors.
    netmagecornchipDeelrontallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 40
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    Say what? Buy the whole series...  Really? Well maybe they would bring a race to Monterey.
    heres a crazy idea.---Make a home device that is a computer, tv streaming device, music player, wifi router, voice Internet interface device, home data cloud storage all in one. You get it--- music player, tv controller, Internet interface...(channeling Steve Jobs).
    oh and even more crazy--- make professional level(best in class) apps for photo editing, book creation, music player, movie editing... Oh wait...D'oh... Oh never mind, crawling back under my rock, wake me when it's over. /s
    jasenj1
  • Reply 3 of 40
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    boeyc15 said:
    Say what? Buy the whole series...  Really? Well maybe they would bring a race to Monterey.
    heres a crazy idea.---Make a home device that is a computer, tv streaming device, music player, wifi router, voice Internet interface device, home data cloud storage all in one. You get it--- music player, tv controller, Internet interface...(channeling Steve Jobs).
    oh and even more crazy--- make professional level(best in class) apps for photo editing, book creation, music player, movie editing... Oh wait...D'oh... Oh never mind, crawling back under my rock, wake me when it's over. /s
    A wifi router that doesn't emit radiation would be great.

    If this rumor were to be true it would get Apple into the game and make them a serious auto manufacturer in a matter of days.
    baconstang
  • Reply 4 of 40
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Apple should be sponsoring Formula E, not Formula 1.  Formula E is the future, Formula 1 is the past.
    frantisekjasenj1iqatedo
  • Reply 5 of 40
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member

    Once they have Iovine and Ecclestone on the payroll, they just need to revive Dr. Strangelove... Then they could call their first own TV series The Goon Show.
    cnocbui
  • Reply 6 of 40
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Better use of the offshore cash than borrowing against it for stock buybacks. 
    baconstangnostrathomascalijay-tmacxpress
  • Reply 7 of 40
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,152member
    This is a joke, right?
    cnocbuinetmage
  • Reply 8 of 40
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 667member
    cali said:
    boeyc15 said:
    Say what? Buy the whole series...  Really? Well maybe they would bring a race to Monterey.
    heres a crazy idea.---Make a home device that is a computer, tv streaming device, music player, wifi router, voice Internet interface device, home data cloud storage all in one. You get it--- music player, tv controller, Internet interface...(channeling Steve Jobs).
    oh and even more crazy--- make professional level(best in class) apps for photo editing, book creation, music player, movie editing... Oh wait...D'oh... Oh never mind, crawling back under my rock, wake me when it's over. /s
    A wifi router that doesn't emit radiation would be great.

    If this rumor were to be true it would get Apple into the game and make them a serious auto manufacturer in a matter of days.
    Silly. A wifi router that doesn't emit radiation would be unplugged.  It doesn't even make sense.   Buying F1 wouldn't make Apple into an auto manufacturer at all, would it?  Bernie Ecclestone, the current owner, isn't a serious auto manufacturer, and in fact isn't one at all.  To be a serious auto manufacturer, it would seem the manufacturing of automobiles would be prerequisite.  Such a move would be as likely to make Apple an English football club, as Ecclestone partly owns one of those too.
    edited July 2016 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 9 of 40
    Approaching this from a semi-serious perspective I think it really does make sense profitability wise. The sport isn't worth 8 billion dollars especially when American viewership is at its highest yet still around 250k per race. It's very undervalued and apart from that F1 has a huge crisis looming on the horizon for when Bernie passes away. The sport's at an all-time low in visibility simply due to the fact that its being marketed by people who are considered "young" when they're in their 60s. The sport has lost that connection with the general public that it had in the '50s-'60s around the world as back then attending a Grand Prix was affordable and the sport was traveling to the most gorgeous countries across the globe as it was finding popularity due to the fact that its content distributors were pretty young themselves and weren't shoving a product in way that were antiquated for those times. The sport could return to that if it embraced digital content, something that the top shot caller (Ecclestone) is very against as he said last week he hasn't ever even created an email account. Tim Cook has shown one thing as the CEO of Apple, he excels at establishing distribution channels for content and products and getting Apple out there. People bemoan the fact that the emerging products from Apple don't have that "x" factor that left since Steve Jobs passed but thats not coming back I believe. Apple must play to its strengths and distribution is one of them. If the purchase for Formula 1 goes ahead it can kill so many birds with one stone. It'll solve Apple's dilemma of the Apple TV having no exclusive content worth watching (which still makes me regret purchasing one), F1's dilemma of how to survive by moving away from its elderly leader's antiquated distribution formats, the sport can finally embrace the United States as Bernie Ecclestone has made clear he could care less if F1 ever catches on here so he doesn't even make an effort, added bonus in that it can serve as a marketing vehicle for Apple. Yes I understand fossil fuel vehicles are dying but America's largest motorsport is NASCAR, F1 would finally arrive and it would seem much the more modern motorsport and that alone is worth an intangible amount of money in marketing when you consider that traditional auto manufacturers derive exposure that translates into sales in the mass American auto industry from NASCAR (Toyota, GM, Ford, Dodge). F1 could bury NASCAR if Apple was running it, as most Americans are pretty well aware of what NASCAR stands for (rednecks, low thermally efficient V8 engines compared to F1's hybrids, etc etc). This could be massive and I'll admit my bias, I'm an American F1 fan with almost no way to watch my favorite sport as its hardly shown here and I just want to have anybody in a 100 mile radius who knows what F1 even is, but I see huge potential for it. But hey, maybe its just a shitpost rumor from a usually reliable F1 reporter in Saward as he tries to fill his weekly rag with some paragraphs who knows.
    edited July 2016 baconstangnostrathomasfotoformatjay-tSpamSandwichwelshdogpatchythepirate
  • Reply 10 of 40
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 551member
    If Apple does buy F1, it would only be fitting for Samsung to buy NASCAR.
    nostrathomascalirusswjay-tfrantiseknetmagemacxpressradarthekat
  • Reply 11 of 40
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,125member
    Money pit.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    williamh said:
    cali said:
    A wifi router that doesn't emit radiation would be great.

    If this rumor were to be true it would get Apple into the game and make them a serious auto manufacturer in a matter of days.
    Silly. A wifi router that doesn't emit radiation would be unplugged.  It doesn't even make sense.   Buying F1 wouldn't make Apple into an auto manufacturer at all, would it?  Bernie Ecclestone, the current owner, isn't a serious auto manufacturer, and in fact isn't one at all.  To be a serious auto manufacturer, it would seem the manufacturing of automobiles would be prerequisite.  Such a move would be as likely to make Apple an English football club, as Ecclestone partly owns one of those too.
    Ha I knew someone would
    chime in.

    If any one can do it, it's Apple. In the future radiation could be something like lead, people will laugh at our tolerance.

    I didn't say F1 would make Apple an auto manufacturer. I may have worded it strangely but I meant it would give them instant insight, connections and credibility.
    edited July 2016 avoidMLMschemesbaconstang
  • Reply 13 of 40
    Approaching this from a semi-serious perspective I think it really does make sense profitability wise. The sport isn't worth 8 billion dollars especially when American viewership is at its highest yet still around 250k per race. I
    There is a whole big world out there that loves F1. While it might not be big in the USA, F1 is a worldwide sport. NASCAR is most certainly not.
    Apple is a global player. Please try to think outside your box of the lower 48 states.
    No other sport travels the world with so much profile as F1. Asia, S. America, Europe, Middle East. Where's NASCAR eh?

    Personally, the sooner Bernie is put out to grass the better. He is holding back the sport and has done for years.
    I stopped going to Silverstone years ago.
    I might watch the occassional race on TV or listen on the Radio but not really a fan any more. Mind you, the racing between the two mercedes drivers this year has been good.
    But, I now prefer vintage motorcycle racing. Very friendly atmosphere.

    baconstangcnocbui
  • Reply 14 of 40
    Worst person iwe have worked with in UAE Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • Reply 15 of 40
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,620member
    " Formula One (also Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The FIA Formula One World Championship has been the premier form of racing since the inaugural season in 1950, although other Formula One races were regularly held until 1983. The "formula", designated in the name, refers to a set of rules, to which all participants' cars must conform.[2] The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix (from French, meaning grand prizes), held worldwide on purpose-built F1 circuits and public roads. "

    If it is profitable and props up Apple in the auto industry then go for it!
  • Reply 16 of 40
    The sport's at an all-time low in visibility simply due to the fact that its being marketed by people who are considered "young" when they're in their 60s. The sport has lost that connection with the general public that it had in the '50s-'60s around the world as back then attending a Grand Prix was affordable and the sport was traveling to the most gorgeous countries across the globe as it was finding popularity due to the fact that its content distributors were pretty young themselves and weren't shoving a product in way that were antiquated for those times. The sport could return to that if it embraced digital content, something that the top shot caller (Ecclestone) is very against as he said last week he hasn't ever even created an email account.
    I'm guessing this is from an american perspective since F1 is huge elsewhere. As for being antiquated and against modernisation, for the past few seasons the F1 app on iOS (among many other features) lets you view a map circuit showing each car LIVE as it travels around the track - having this as a second screen while watching the live race on the big screen is awesome. I'm more of a WRC fan personally but I do enjoy the F1 when I catch it. Attending a race is almost exclusively for the rich nowadays (which is expected) unless you're happy with a seat in the gods, only seeing 1 corner of the track. 
  • Reply 17 of 40
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    Another fake rumour about Apple making a content bid to attempt to drum up interest. Next to Thursday Night Football and that fuel cell for smartphone company, this "story" is the biggest horseshit I've read.
    edited July 2016
  • Reply 18 of 40
    That would be a huge mistake. I agree with mcarling: they should buy and make something out of Formula E instead. Why would Apple want to associate themselves with a boring, backwards, gas-guzzling 20th century Formula? That doesn't sound right.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    This is a joke, right?
    No but your posts usually are.... I suppose you think its a bad idea? I'd love to hear why... Yes, this will make it so Apple can't release products as fast..thats why!
    edited July 2016
  • Reply 20 of 40
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    If Apple does buy F1, it would only be fitting for Samsung to buy NASCAR.
    Well they can't buy NASCAR as its owned by the France Family. However, NASCAR happens to be looking for a series sponsor for its top series as Sprint is leaving at the end of the season. That being said, Samsung could be the new title sponsor for NASCAR's top series....the NASCAR Samsung Cup Series. It would probably be a very smart move for them actually. They'd get TONS of exposure both with TV and in person. Each NASCAR race has an average attendance of 90,000 people.
    They could take a major interactive display from race to race where tens of thousands of fans could interact. I know some people like to think its just a bunch of rednecks turning left, but its the second most popular sport in the US, and people do watch from other countries (they also attend from other countries).

    As far as Apple buying F1...well I think the same thing I just explained about Samsung sponsoring NASCAR applies to Apple buying F1. It would give them tons of exposure and possibly get their foot in the door with their Apple car. The average attendance of an F1 seems to be around 83,000 (from all over the world per race).
    They'd have to spend money on this to make it successful, but it could work out very well for them. And, this is a global sport so it would give them even more exposure over NASCAR and it has a huge following. I see this as a win win for everyone.
    edited July 2016
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