2016 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W08 - 21

Apple has previously been rumoured to be developing an autonomous electric vehicle, codenamed Project Titan. While the autonomous EV project has been an open secret – albeit still a closely guarded one – Apple’s concerted venture into motoring doesn’t stop there. It appears that in Formula 1’s search for a buyer, Apple is the latest party to put in a bid, according to a report by notable F1 writer Joe Saward.

A rumoured £6 billion (RM31.6 billion) price tag might not be the greatest of obstacles to an Apple buyout, even if the tech giant historically hasn’t been a habitual spender on big ticket items, but smaller companies instead. The oft-rumoured Project Titan, however, would be given a huge boost if Apple does eventually complete a buyout of F1, as that would give Apple considerable influence in the FIA, as the owner of the premier open-wheeled racing series.

“Apple is on the verge of launching into the world’s automotive markets, with an electric car that remains a secret, although it is hard to hide such a project when you hire more than a thousand engineers to work on it. The Apple Car is expected to appear by 2020. Thus, there are three elements that would make the purchase of F1 a logical step of Apple. It can afford it, it can boost sales of Apple TVs and get people thinking about Apple in relation to cars,” writes Saward.

On the first point, Apple appears to be able to afford to do so, should it want to; it has USD161 billion (RM639 billion) in net cash, despite having already spent USD117 billion on share repurchases and USD46 billion on dividends in recent years, therefore a 6 billion pound sterling (RM31.6 billion) would appear manageable.

Secondly, Apple TV stands to gain exclusivity and consequently revenue if the buyout materialises and Apple demands exclusivity like Formula One Management has, and thirdly the connection to the premier racing series should cement the Apple-automotive connection in the minds of the public.