Formula 1

FIA Chief Defends €1 Million Driver Fine Rule, Cites Sport’s Growing Economy

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has recently addressed the controversy surrounding the new €1 million fine limit for F1 drivers, a significant increase from the previous €250k cap. He emphasized the necessity of this change in light of the sport’s economic growth and the importance of rule adherence.

Key Takeaways:

  • Increased Fine Limits: The FIA has raised the maximum fine amount for Formula 1 drivers from €250,000 to €1 million, leading to widespread criticism among drivers, especially those who earn less than that annually.
  • Ben Sulayem’s Defense: FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem defended the decision, urging drivers to focus on following the rules rather than worrying about the fine. He highlighted the economic growth of the sport and the outdated nature of previous regulations.
  • Nature of Offenses and Steward’s Role: The specific offenses warranting the new fine remain undisclosed. Ben Sulayem stressed that adherence to the rules would make life easier for race stewards, and any collected fines would be reinvested into grassroots motorsport.

The Formula 1 world has been buzzing with reactions to the FIA’s recent decision to hike the maximum fine for drivers to €1 million, a substantial increase from the previous limit of €250k. This move has drawn criticism, particularly from drivers who may not earn as much annually. However, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has stepped up to defend this significant rule change.

In his conversation with, Ben Sulayem drew attention to the current economic landscape of Formula 1. “The price of everything has gone up,” he stated, emphasizing the billions now involved in team valuations and the need for regulatory updates, which he compared to being “dating back to Jurassic Park.” His rationale was straightforward: drivers should not worry about the high fine if they adhere to the rules. “We are not saying ‘Go and pay’. We are saying ‘Don’t make these unnecessary penalties’,” he explained.

Despite the clear stance from the FIA president, he intriguingly chose not to specify the nature of offenses that would trigger such a hefty penalty. Instead, he shifted the focus towards simplifying the work of race stewards and the overall implementation of rules within the sport. “Stick to the rules, and nobody will say anything, nobody will charge you anything,” Ben Sulayem remarked, addressing concerns over the raised fine limit. He further commented on the reinvestment of fines into grassroots motorsport, underscoring the FIA’s commitment to nurturing the sport’s future.

Ben Sulayem’s stance indicates a firm belief in the integrity and intelligence of Formula 1 drivers. By refraining from detailing the exact offenses that could lead to the maximum fine, he leaves room for steward discretion, while also emphasizing the importance of rule adherence. The president’s message is clear: the new fine structure is part of a broader effort to evolve with the sport’s economic growth and ensure its sustainable future.

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