Formula One F1 Raceweek: Questions raised over takeover

Questions have been raised over the takeover of Formula One, while Christian Horner has sprung to the defence of Max Verstappen.

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After three consecutive grand prix victories, Nico Rosberg has turned the tables on Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the battle for the drivers' championship.

Rosberg leads by eight points going into this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, and here we look at the latest news from around the world of Formula One.

 

Questions raised surrounding Liberty Media takeover

Liberty Media confirmed this month it had agreed a $4.4billion takeover deal of F1.

However, it has been reported that the deal may be impacted by an alleged conflict of interest surrounding F1's parent company Delta Topco.

The takeover, which is subject to FIA approval, requires Liberty Media to purchase all shares of Delta Topco.

But the FIA owns a one per cent share of Delta Topco, meaning that motorsport's governing body would stand to profit from the sale.

 

Second US race should be a priority

Widely tipped to soon undertake a commercial role within F1 after stepping down as CEO of CSM Sport and Entertainment, marketing expert Zak Brown has talked up the prospect of a second race in the United States by 2019.

F1 will head to the Circuit of the Americas for this year's US Grand Prix this month and Brown said that further expansion into the American market should be "a priority" for F1.

"It takes some time, so I don't think we'll see it in 2017 or 2018, but I'd like to think that in 2019 or 2020 we'd see a second American race on the calendar," he told Motorsport.com.

 

McLaren ready to win again in 2017

McLaren have improved in 2016 but still appear a long way from competing at the front of the grid again.

They are sixth in the constructors' championship with 54 points, doubling last season's tally with six races left.

Not since Jenson Button's victory in Brazil in 2012 have McLaren had a driver stand at the top of the podium but racing director Eric Boullier believes they are ready to change that.

Asked by F1 Racing Magazine if the team is in position to win again, Boullier replied: "Of course we are. I think we are more than ever."

 

Verstappen criticism 99 per cent unjustified - Horner

Max Verstappen has come in for his fair share of criticism this season for what has been perceived as his recklessly aggressive driving.

The Dutchman's style came under intense scrutiny following a first-corner incident involving Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel at Spa-Francorchamps.

Raikkonen and Verstappen clashed again later in the Belgian Grand Prix and engaged in a war of words after the race.

But Red Bull team principal Horner, asked if he needed to protect the teenager from criticism, told Autosport: "It depends on whether it's merited or not, and 99 per cent of it hasn't been.

"So therefore you ignore it and you get on with your job. The only reason he's generating interest is because of the way he is performing."

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