Posted May 16th 2012 9:00AM
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 USD$2 billion it is expected to raise – might have to wait until next year.