Formula 1

FIA President Investigation: Alleged Race Intervention Shakes Formula 1

In a surprising turn of events, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem is under investigation for allegedly intervening in a Formula 1 race outcome. The controversy, linked to the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, raises serious questions about the integrity of F1’s governance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alleged Intervention in Alonso’s Penalty: Mohammed Ben Sulayem faces accusations of attempting to reverse a penalty issued to Fernando Alonso during the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
  • Whistleblower’s Report Triggers Probe: The FIA’s ethics committee initiated an investigation following a report by a whistleblower, alleging Ben Sulayem’s meddling.
  • Series of Controversies Mark Presidency: This incident adds to a string of contentious issues that have clouded Ben Sulayem’s tenure since his election as FIA president in December 2021.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, at the helm of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), is now embroiled in a contentious investigation. This development follows allegations of his possible undue influence in a key decision during a high-profile Formula 1 race, casting doubt on the sport’s governance standards.

At the heart of this controversy is the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where driver Fernando Alonso was penalized. A whistleblower report, as covered by BBC Sport and authored by FIA compliance officer Paolo Basarri, suggests that Ben Sulayem intervened in an effort to annul Alonso’s penalty. This claim is currently under examination by the FIA’s ethics committee.

Ben Sulayem’s supposed involvement reportedly included contacting Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamas bin Isa Al Khalifa, FIA’s vice-president for the Middle East and North Africa, to discuss the penalty imposed on Alonso. The penalty originated from a procedural infringement during a pit stop, where Alonso’s team serviced the car earlier than the regulations permit.

Ben Sulayem’s tenure, which began in December 2021, has been marked by several controversies. These include a halted compliance inquiry concerning Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and criticism over remarks considered misogynistic.

The ongoing investigation holds substantial significance for Formula 1. The findings of the FIA’s ethics committee, expected in the near future, could have far-reaching implications, not just for Ben Sulayem but for the overall governance and integrity of the sport.

Related Articles

Back to top button