Formula 1 preparing replacement for Mohammed Ben Sulayem as he faces axe

The relationship between F1 and the FIA is rapidly deteriorating, following a number of incidents involving Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is finding himself in more and more controversy as the days pass, with the re-emergence of sexist comments being the latest thing to land the 61-year-old in hot water.

Ben Sulayem was already being criticised for ignoring a letter from a Liberal Democrat life peer and commenting on the financial value of Formula 1, despite being someone who is supposed to stay away from these issues and simply regulate the sport.

Now, comments that have emerged from Ben Sulayem’s old website have landed him in even more hot water, with the 61-year-old claiming that one of his dislikes is “women who think they are smarter than men, for they are not the truth.”

The FIA have further infuriated F1 bosses by defending their president, suggesting that these comments from ten years ago do not reflect his actual views.

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Those high up in Formula 1 are reportedly pushing for the FIA president to be sacked, with former BAR and Benetton team principal David Richards being lined up as a potential replacement.

The Motorsport UK chairman is supposedly “not averse” to becoming the new president of the FIA, should the position become vacant.

According to Sport1 however, “real misconduct” must be proven in order for Mohammed Ben Sulayem to be overthrown, a legal matter that is not up to F1 to decide.

This controversy only makes the relationship between the FIA and F1 even more fractured, after a disagreement around the Andretti-Cadillac project initially formed a divide between the two.

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F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previously shut down the project, explaining that there are no current plans to destabilise F1 by expanding the ten-team grid.

Since Andretti partnered with General Motors however, Ben Sulayem has been very outspoken about his approval for the project, claiming that he has ordered the FIA to explore a grid expansion despite Domenicali’s comments.

No matter what the FIA president desires, the final decision will come down to F1, who are the only ones capable of actually expanding the size of the grid, meaning an agreement will have to be reached.