Liberty Media CEO John Malone's takeover of Formula One commercial rights has been approved by the World Motorsport Council. File photo: Jim Urquhart / Reuters

Paris, France - Liberty Media's Formula One takeover has cleared another key hurdle with the sport's governing body unanimously approving the deal.

The Paris-based International Automobile Federation said on Wednesday that its World Motor Sport Council had approved the change of commercial rights holder at an extraordinary meeting in Geneva.

"Liberty, Formula One Group and the FIA intend to collaborate to create a constructive relationship that will ensure the continued success and the development of the FIA Formula One World Championship in the long term," it said.

The deal, which still needs the approval of the FIA and European anti-trust regulators, has been valued at $8 billion (R108 billion) and represents a major shake-up in the sport.

Shareholders in Colorado-based Liberty Media voted on Tuesday to approve funding and changes related to the takeover.

Detailed presentation

The WMSC, which usually meets four times a year, is the governing body's top decision-making body and includes president Jean Todt and Formula One's 86-year-old commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The FIA said Liberty Media representatives had made a detailed presentation of their strategy to the council.

"The members of the World Motor Sport Council then had the opportunity to ask questions about the specifics of the agreement, the ongoing working relationship with the FIA and Liberty's plans for the sport," it added.

"The World Motor Sport Council's decision confirms the FIA's belief that Liberty, as a renowned media organisation with expertise in both sport and entertainment, is clearly well positioned to ensure the continued development of its pinnacle championship."

The FIA holds a one percent stake in Delta Topco, Formula One's holding company that owns the commercial rights.

The governing body said that it would be "dragged along in the sale process under the same conditions as CVC and all the other shareholders" and looked forward to working with the new owners and helping to develop the sport.

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