FIA and Formula 1 still stuck in stand-off amid controversy

The relationship between Formula 1 and the FIA is currently very tense, mainly due to the actions of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has caused a lot of shockwaves in Formula 1 recently, with his activity on Twitter in particular being a problem.

Firstly, the 61-year-old took to Twitter to express his interest in expanding the F1 grid to allow the Andretti-Cadillac project to join the sport.

These comments did not go down well with F1, as Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previously been very clear in his stance towards the project, claiming that there are no current plans to expand the grid and risk the stability of the sport.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem then posted on Twitter his views about Saudi Arabia’s $20bn bid to take over Formula 1, claiming that this price tag is inflated and that projects should approach the sport with a clear plan rather than a load of money.

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Current F1 owners Liberty Media have been outraged by these comments, suggesting the Ben Sulayem has overstepped in his role as FIA president and potentially lowered the value of F1 with his tweets.

The 61-year-old is yet to respond to a letter written to the FIA by Liberty Media, claiming that he would be liable for any damage done to F1’s value.

Sky Sports have now reported that positive conversations have taken place between F1 and the FIA despite the lack of a reply to Liberty Media’s letter.

“No reply has come from the FIA to F1[‘s letter],” reported Craig Slater.

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“But I can also say that positive conversations continue between the two institutions. So they’re functioning normally as they need to do to keep the sport operating properly.

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“But people [are] still telling me that they have issues with the kind of personal style of leadership that Mohammed Ben Sulayem has at the FIA and these are high ranking individuals from a number of different Formula 1 teams.”

As well as his controversial comments on Twitter, Ben Sulayem has come under fire for sexist comments that he made on his website in 2001, where he claimed that he does not like “women who think that they are smarter than men, for they are not the truth.”

Liberty Media are reportedly pushing to have the 61-year-old removed from his role as president of the FIA, but need to find evidence of sackable misconduct in order to do so.