The deal with Liberty Media is expected to be finalised in the coming months
A change in ownership of Formula 1 moved one step closer on Tuesday, with the news that Liberty Media's shareholders voted in favour of the proposed takeover.
Liberty Media, which own Virgin Media and TV3 in Ireland, currently own a 19% stake in Formula 1, but Tuesday's decision makes a majority shareholding all but certain.
In a statement released by Liberty Media, they confirmed they hoped the deal would be confirmed by the end of March. The 2017 Formula One season begins March 26th in Australia, which may see the takeover completed in time of the season's opening Grand Prix.
"The [share]holders of its common stock entitled to vote thereat approved (i) a proposal relating to the issuance of shares of Series C Liberty Media common stock in connection with its pending acquisition of Formula 1 (the "Acquisition") and (ii) a proposal relating to the adoption of the amendment and restatement of Liberty Media's restated certificate of incorporation to effect the name change of the "Media Group" and the "Liberty Media Common Stock" to the "Formula One Group" and the "Liberty Formula One Common Stock," respectively."
With viewing figures having lessened in recent years on a global scale, Formula 1's new owners will hope to bring the sport to new countries in a hope a rebuilding the brand that has suffered in recent years due to a perceived lack of competitiveness in races.
Of the 21 Grands Prix in the 2016 season, only two were won by a non-Mercedes driver, and Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton dominated the season. The duo combined for 27 top-two finishes last year.
Bernie Ecclestone, the current owner is expected to individually earn almost €1billion from the sale.