Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, on Friday, indicated that a planned flotation of the sport on the Singapore Stock Exchange might have to be delayed due to the global economic crisis.

In an interview with CNN television, Mr. Ecclestone said he felt that the continued uncertainty In the world markets could mean the proposed sale would have to be reconsidered.

Private equity firm

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which has a majority stake in Formula One's holding company, had hoped to initiate the flotation within months. A source close to the deal told AFP, on Tuesday, that it was worth some $2.5 billion.

“The market doesn't look too bright after that little bit of a problem with Facebook,'' he said, referring to the popular social networking site's recent flotation, which saw shares slump sharply, angering investors.

“So, I think they are going to wait and see,'' he added.

An F1 initial public offering (IPO) would likely translate into a profit for CVC Capital Partners, which owns 63.4 per cent of F1's business after it bought a majority stake in the racing company for $2.5 billion in 2006.

F1 supremo Mr. Ecclestone owns 5.3 per cent of the business. Analysts say he could gain financially if the stocks rise but the IPO would dilute some of his powers.

Despite the likely postponement of the proposed flotation, which would be the biggest IPO in Singapore this year if it goes ahead, Mr. Ecclestone said he was more optimistic about a deal to commit all the existing teams to remain in F1 until 2020.

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