Bernie may sell F1 to public, 20 races for ’06

Bernie Ecclestone would like to sell formula one to the public, the F1 supremo revealed in China. The 74-year-old Englishman, with a 25 per cent stake in the sport's commercial ownership, is eager to iron-out the forlorn situation of having a trio of mostly uninterested banks with majority ownership of his series.

''An IPO (initial public offering) would probably be the right way to go,'' Ecclestone told the 'Bloomberg' agency. ''I think the banks would consider it.''

Following media reports that some had expressed interest in buying the 'SLEC' shares, Bernie reported that he believes the banks 'don't want to sell.

''It's not a case of how much (money),'' he continued. ''There's been two or three (approaches) which we could say that were definitely serious.''

Ecclestone also reported that a 20-race calendar for 2006 is likely, if an agreement to reduce testing can be reached. ''We've got a couple of new teams wanting to come in as well. I think we're in good shape,'' said the diminutive boss.

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