Date: 20th April 2011 at 8:57am
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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation have reportedly held preliminary talks with potential partners about forming a consortium to buy Formula 1.

News Corporation are believed to have already held preliminary negotiations with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim (who sponsors the Sauber team) and a major car manufacturer, which has been reported to be Ferrari.

However it appears the consortium are yet to make a formal approach to CVC Capital Partners who own Formula One.

The bid is at ‘an embryonic stage’. Mark Kleinman Sky’s business editor told Sky News on Tuesday night, while an unnamed source told the Telegraph: ‘It is at a very, very early point and could lead to nothing or could lead to many different permutations.

One permutation could be a move for the television rights, with the current BBC deal ending in 2013, another could be a full blown takeover.

But that would seem unlikely considering Bernie’s reaction to the news.

‘It’s rubbish. The sport is not for sale. And, anyway, we would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters,”‘ Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone told press when asked about the speculation.

Reports also suggest that for all intents and purposes, The FIA and Bernie Ecclestone basically have veto rights on new owners, so if Bernie says F1 is not for sale, it’s pretty much cast in stone that it’s not for sale.

‘Unless any bidder ? be it News Corp, its partners or a rival ? is welcomed by Bernie nothing is happening,’ said a Telegraph source.