The media company and Exor, an Italian investment vehicle with links to F1 team Ferrari, are looking to create a consortium to take over the sport.
In a joint statement, the two say they “will approach minority partners and key stakeholders in the sport” but that “there can be no certainty that this will lead to an approach to F1’s current owners.”
The sport’s owner CVC Capital Partners confirms the approach led by Murdoch’s son James but insists F1 is “not for sale”.
The private equity firm, which bought F1 for £1.8bn in 2006, adds: “James Murdoch has informed us that the approach is friendly, at a very preliminary stage, and that they acknowledge that F1 is privately owned by CVC and not currently for sale.
It adds: “CVC recognises the quality of Exor and NewsCorp as potential investors, but any investment in F1 will require CVC’s agreement and will need to demonstrate that it is in the interest of the sport and its stakeholders, taken as a whole.”
Exor is owned by Fiat founders the Agnelli family. Fiat owns Ferrari, one of F1’s most famous teams.