Saudi Arabia made an unsuccessful bid to buy the Formula 1 motor racing series, according to reports. Public Investment Fund, the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, is said to value the series at over $20bn. PIF manages investments worth $620bn.
F1’s owners, the US media giant Liberty Media, currently has no intention of selling. Liberty bought F1 in 2017 for $4.4bn.
Saudi Arabia has made leadership in sports a key plank of its 2030 Vision programme. In 2021, the country joined the global grand prix circuit, hosting its first ever F1 race in the city of Jeddah. The same year PIF set up the LIV Golf tour and acquired English Premier League club Newcastle United.
Last month, Saudi Pro League football club Al Nassr bought former Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo as part of ambitious plans to put the league on the map.
Shares in Liberty rose almost 7% on the news, giving the company a market cap of just over $30bn.