As part of its efforts to reduce its 6 billion euros of debt, the troubled Kirch Group is reportedly ready to sell part of its stake in Formula One motor racing. The carmakers are said to be interested.

Kirch Group holds a 58% stake in SLEC (which runs F1), with the remainder owned by Bernie Ecclestone.

Handelsblatt reports that insiders at DaimlerChrysler are following the situation ‘with interest’.

Kirch bought its majority stake in SLEC last year for $1.6 billion – against the wishes of Ecclestone as well as the carmakers.

The carmakers’ irritation over Kirch’s dominant role in F1 has led them to consider setting up their own alternative, which could come into effect in 2008.