Formula 1

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem Confronts Adversity in Welcoming 11th Team to F1

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem faced significant opposition and personal attacks after initiating the process to introduce an 11th team in Formula One. Despite the challenges, he remained committed to his vision for the sport, emphasizing its sustainability and integrity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the FIA President, encountered harsh criticism and personal abuse after announcing his intention to expand the F1 grid by welcoming an 11th team, describing the experience as going through “hell.”
  • The decision to introduce Andretti Cadillac to Formula One from 2025 or 2026 was approved by the FIA, yet it must still pass further evaluations by Formula One Management and team bosses.
  • Ben Sulayem, undeterred by the opposition, stands firm on his mission to enhance the sport’s sustainability and fairness, disregarding financial pressures and focusing on the sport’s integrity.

In a bold move that stirred up the world of Formula One, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem faced a barrage of criticism and personal attacks for his decision to open the doors to an 11th F1 team. This revelation came to light during an interview with, where he shared the adversities he faced, describing the ordeal as going through “hell.”

The controversy began when Ben Sulayem tweeted his intention to expand the F1 grid, a decision that was quickly met with backlash from several quarters of the Formula 1 community, including team bosses. This opposition did not deter the FIA from approving Andretti Cadillac’s bid to enter the sport, potentially starting from the 2025 or 2026 season. However, this approval is not the final hurdle, as the new team must still undergo evaluations to ensure its contribution to the sport’s value.

Despite the acrimonious response to his decision, Ben Sulayem’s commitment to the sport remains unshaken. He expressed his bewilderment at the level of opposition he faced, especially considering the Concorde Agreement, which allows for up to 12 teams on the grid. His focus is not on the financial aspects but rather on the sustainability and essence of motorsport.

The FIA President’s stance is clear: he aims to preserve the spirit of the sport and its long-term viability, moving away from a purely profit-driven mindset. This approach is evident in his willingness to open the expression of interest again for a reliable and worthy team, despite the personal and professional challenges he has faced.

Ben Sulayem’s ordeal and his unwavering determination highlight the complex dynamics within Formula One. His experience sheds light on the challenges of navigating the sport’s political landscape while trying to maintain its integrity and sustainable future.

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