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F1 co-owner says deal ‘a mistake’

PAPHOTO4_523021One of F1’s owners has admitted buying into the sport was “a mistake”.

In 2012, Norway’s central bank Norges bought a 21 per cent share in formula one along with two other investors, asset managers Waddell and Reed, and Blackrock.

But within Norway, the deal was heavily criticised, and that criticism is now reaching boiling point amid F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone’s legal troubles.

“We have clearly indicated that we have a zero tolerance to corruption,” the Norwegian sovereign oil fund director Yngve Slyngstad told business daily Dagens Naeringsliv this week.

“Yes, we have made a mistake,” he admitted.

Ecclestone will be tried on bribery and corruption charges in a German criminal court next month, and according to F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, the latest twist is that Ecclestone’s former lawyer Stephen Mullens has also been charged.

Norges’ Slyngstad added: “Obviously if this affair is not handled properly we would not want to be a shareholder. In that case we would not hold on to our shares.” (GMM)

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