Formula 1

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s Bold Stance on Formula One’s Future: Reinforcing Authority and Advocating Fairness

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently asserted the FIA’s significant role in Formula One, challenging the current power dynamics with Formula One Management (FOM). His statements emphasize the FIA’s influence and dedication to transparency and equity in the sport.

Key Takeaways:

  • Asserting FIA’s Influence: Mohammed Ben Sulayem, under his presidency, is making concerted efforts to reinforce the FIA’s role in governing Formula 1, highlighting the complex relationship with FOM, which handles the commercial aspects of the sport.
  • Advocating for Transparency and Equity: The president emphasizes his commitment to fairness and clarity in Formula 1 management, asserting that the FIA is more than just a service provider and advocates for constructive disagreements to achieve the best outcomes.
  • Dedication to FIA’s Objectives: Ben Sulayem stresses the FIA’s focus on non-commercial goals, contrasting with FOM’s profit-driven approach. He underscores the importance of reinvesting in the sport to enhance stewardship and race direction.

Since assuming the role of FIA president in December 2021, Mohamed Ben Sulayem has been vocal about the organization’s authoritative position in Formula 1. His aim to maintain control as the sport evolves is clear.

Ben Sulayem’s direct approach has sometimes led to tension with Liberty Media, particularly following his comments on a Saudi Arabian-backed bid for commercial rights and his proposal to increase the number of teams. During a discussion with Motorsport Magazin, Ben Sulayem stated, “I’m just asking for clarity and fairness. I am not involved in the stock price or ticket sales. We just need fairness here, that’s my mission.”

He elaborated on the nature of the relationship with FOM and Liberty Media: “We define clarity between ourselves and the FOM, Liberty. That’s good. We need to understand who I represent. I represent the head of the house. We are not a service provider! No, we are not. I keep saying that and I believe it too.”

“But friction is sometimes healthy to bring out the best. It’s like with your body: if you wake up in the morning with pain, then at least you know that something is wrong.”

Further discussing the FIA’s commitment to the sport, he added, “We want the best for the sport. I’ll tell you one thing, I’ll say it very humbly and clearly: you won’t wake up tomorrow and the FIA ​​is no longer there. For others, it is different.”

“Liberty also has the right to sell the lease to another company. Tomorrow it could no longer be with them, but with someone else. Then I have to get along with them. That is the difference between us.”

In conclusion, Ben Sulayem’s commitment to the FIA’s non-profit mission and its objectives in Formula 1 is unyielding. His stance reflects a significant period in the sport’s governance, marking a potential shift in how Formula 1’s future will be shaped under his leadership.

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