It’s a known fact Apple is intensifying its efforts to really dip its toes into the automotive industry by launching its first-ever car. Codenamed “Project Titan,” the long-rumored Apple Car is said to take the shape of a pure EV with autonomous driving capabilities and apparently it will be out around 2019.
To help push the car to the market, Apple is allegedly interested in making a high-profile acquisition, with F1 blogger Joe Saward saying the Cupertino-based company is analyzing the prospects of buying Formula 1. The series’ boss Bernie Ecclestone admitted the competition is up for grabs and even revealed that a sales price has been “agreed.” According to The Sun, Ecclestone - who has a five-percent stake in F1 - is hinting at a £6 billion (about $7.9 billion) deal for the 35-percent stake owned by holding company CVC Capital Partners.
Saward has heard from sources within the Formula One Group that Apple is the latest company to place a bid for the racing series, following last year’s yet-to-be-confirmed bid made by American investment company RSE Ventures in association with Qatar Sports Investments. Apple certainly has the funds to buy F1, but would it be worth it?
There are a number of reasons why this potential deal isn’t as crazy as it sounds. First of all, it would serve as a great promotional tool for the company’s EV and will get people to think about Apple as a company that can make cars. Buying F1 would also allow Apple to create stronger relationships with established car manufacturers and at the same time the company would have an influence within the F1’s governing body FIA which also handles Formula E.
There’s also the matter of the Apple TV of which sales could enjoy an important hike if the deal will go through and Apple will own the F1 streaming rights.
It remains to be seen whether the report coming from Saward is legit, but acquiring Formula 1 would undoubtedly be an interesting method to boost Apple’s automotive ambitions.