FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem Addresses Formula 1 Rule Change Controversy
In the wake of the recent uproar over the significant increase in the maximum fine amount in Formula 1, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has stepped forward to provide insights into the contentious decision. Drivers across the grid have expressed their dissatisfaction with the rule change, which saw the maximum fine raised from €250,000 to a staggering €1 million. The discontent is palpable, especially among drivers whose annual earnings fall below this new threshold.
Ben Sulayem, however, stands firmly in defense of the rule change, asserting that drivers who are concerned about the elevated fine should steer clear of violating the regulations. In an exclusive interview with Speedcafe.com, he emphasized the importance of adhering to the rules and regulations governing Formula 1.
While the FIA president declined to divulge the specific infractions that would warrant such a substantial penalty, he emphasized that the primary objective is to streamline the work of race stewards and maintain the integrity of the sport.
“The price of everything has gone up.
“The teams are now talking about billions in terms of what each team is worth, and we’ve still not improved our regulations dating back to Jurassic Park.
“We are not saying ‘Go and pay’. We are saying ‘Don’t make these unnecessary penalties’. If you don’t do it, you won’t get it. Nobody will impose something on you if you follow the rules.
“The rules are there to be policed and to be implemented.”
It remains to be seen how this rule change will impact Formula 1 and its drivers in the long run, but Ben Sulayem’s stance on upholding the sport’s rules is resolute.
“Stick to the rules, and nobody will say anything, nobody will charge you anything. People are over-exaggerating about this.
“And if anyone is penalised, where does the money go? To grassroots (motorsport), investment back into the sport.
“I hope they can make life easier for our stewards by sticking to the rules instead of misbehaving.
“We obviously don’t want them to reach that [€1m], so we’re saying don’t do it. The rules are there, they’re transparent. We have nothing to hide.
“But I cannot tell you why the one million would be implemented. That’s for the stewards, not the president.
“The stewards are there, they are experienced, and they know what to do. And the drivers, they are very intelligent. They know about the rules before they jump in the car.”