US group Liberty Media is close to taking control of Formula 1 in an $8.5bn (£6.5bn) deal, according to reports.

The investment group, which also owns Virgin Media, is in advanced talks with CVC Partners, the US private equity group which controls the motorsport, said the Financial Times and German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. Liberty Media is owned by US billionaire John Malone.

A deal could be hammered out within the next two weeks.

CVC Capital Partners, which has a 35% stake in F1 has held a major share of the sport for the past decade. But for the past several years the sport has been swept by rumours that it wants to sell its holding.

A host of other parties have previously been linked with buying into F1 including Qatar Sports Investments, which owns Paris Saint-Germain football club; and Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins football team.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone
US group Liberty Media is close to taking control of Formula 1 in an $8.5bn deal, but it is unclear whether the motorsport's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is in favour of it Mark Thompson/Getty Images

If the deal goes ahead Chase Carey, the executive vice-chairman of US media group 21st Century Fox, is expected to become chairman of F1.

However, a question mark remains over the future role of F1's longstanding chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, 85, who owns 5% of the sport's parent company. At the Italian Grand Prix at Monza this weekend, Mr Ecclestone told reporters that Liberty "are getting a lot of publicity" out of their deals.

It remains unclear whether Ecclestone is in favour of a deal with Liberty.

F1 was not immediately available for comment.