[MONZA,Italy] The long-awaited sale of Formula One to an American media group is to be completed next week, according to media reports on Sunday.
The well-sourced German magazine Auto Motor und Sport said that the sport's veteran commercial ring-master Bernie Ecclestone had confirmed the deal at the Italian Grand Prix.
The magazine reported that Ecclestone said Liberty Media will make the first of two payments on Tuesday in a deal valued at US8.5 billion dollars .
If that goes through, according to well-informed paddock sources, current owners CVC Capital Parners, who hold a 35 per cent stake, will leave the sport.
Liberty Media Group, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is expected to take control of the company that will run Formula One.
Ecclestone, 85, said his future with the business would remain in his hands. He told Auto Motor Und Sport: "I will do what I have always done. What role I play is my decision."