Crisis Deepens For Under Fire FIA President

Mohammed Ben Sulayem
Mohammed Ben Sulayem

The situation for Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of Formula 1’s governing body, has deteriorated as he faces a fresh scandal.

This week, the FIA chief was reported to his federation’s compliance officer following accusations that he interfered to reverse a penalty given to Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Further complicating matters, Austria’s Kleine Zeitung newspaper has brought to light new allegations asserting that Ben Sulayem attempted to obstruct the approval process of the brand-new Formula 1 circuit in Las Vegas.

The race is the new, billion dollar blue-ribbon project of Formula 1’s commercial rights holder, owned by Liberty Media, which has been locked in an obvious power struggle with the Ben Sulayem-led FIA for some time.

“This was not about real safety concerns,” the newspaper said, referring to Ben Sulayem’s intervention to stop the approval of the Las Vegas street circuit.

“In this case, too, it remains unclear what the background of Ben Sulayem’s intervention might have been.”

When asked to comment, the FIA confirmed that an investigation is underway, but stopped short of actually naming the controversial president.

“The FIA confirms that the Compliance Officer has received a report detailing potential allegations involving certain members of its governing bodies,” a spokesperson said.

“The Compliance Department is assessing these concerns, as is common practice in these matters, to ensure that due process is meticulously followed.”

Also unknown is whether the new scandal involving Ben Sulayem might be in some way connected to the Christian Horner scandal.

Sport1 correspondents Ralf Bach and Bianca Garloff noted: “Horner is said to have threatened to drag other protagonists to their ruin if he lost his job.”

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