Liberty CEO sees 2021 F1 talks nearing a 'conclusion'

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Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei does believe talks are nearing the end to shape Formula 1's future from 2021.

A deadline of the end of June is fast approaching to reach an agreement, although there has been speculation of an extension until October.

And though the sport's owners began with a bold vision to dramatically overhaul many aspects, Maffei does think teams have come around to their way of thinking.

“I think that huge progress has been made,” he was quoted at a conference event in New York last week.

“In general, the theory is that we are trying to create more race competition, more on-track passing or overtaking, more balanced spending with cost caps, more balanced payouts, which are not quite as favourable for some of the traditional players, but instead more favourable for the winners.

“All those things are generally accepted. We are moving towards some sort of a conclusion. What will be the catalytic event that brings it to a signing is perhaps less clear, but I think generally a good direction.”

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The most controversial topic for Mercedes and Ferrari has been a proposed budget cap, which would greatly diminish their biggest advantage over most of the grid.

And here too, the Liberty chief sees a reason for optimism.

“Sure there are issues to be debated. F1 has talked about putting cost caps in for 15 years or more, and when we first started out, Chase [Carey] and his team, about putting a cost cap in F1, people scoffed," he claimed.

“We’re tens of millions apart, not hundreds and how the splits will work, people are arguing.”