‘It will be a problem’: Stefano Domenicali breaks silence on tensions with FIA president

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently handed over the day-to-day responsibility of managing Formula 1, something he supposedly always planned to do.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has opened up on FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, with tensions between F1 and the governing body continuing to build.

It’s been a testing few weeks for the two organisations, with Ben Sulayem having ultimately announced last week that he’d be stepping down from the day-to-day running of Formula 1, with that responsibility having been handed over to Nikolas Tombazis.

Ben Sulayem hasn’t been in the sport’s good books, with the FIA president having made several controversial comments.

He’s had sexist comments resurface, he’s labelled Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund’s rejected $20 billion offer to buy the sport as “inflated”, and he publicly questioned how the sport could possibly turn down Andretti-Cadillac’s bid to join the grid.

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His comments regarding the offer made to buy the sport from Liberty Media infuriated the American company, who German media reported want Ben Sulayem to be fired.

It was also reported that the commercial rights holders to the sport have identified who they want to replace the 61-year-old, and that they could pursue legal action against the governing body.

With all of that in mind, it’s certainly been an eventful build-up to the forthcoming season; however, Domenicali has revealed that he understands that everyone is doing their “own job”.

The Italian has warned that if either the FIA or F1 aren’t “doing the right job”, though, then “it will be a problem”.

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“With Mohammed Ben Sulayem coming as a new president last year it was clear that, as normal when there is a new president coming into the place, there is a manifesto that he has to respect,” Domenicali told Sky Sports’ Martin Brundle.

“That was his proposition in front of the members that have voted him and there is the need and the time to adjust to have the right team to assess the right role within the FIA with regard to what is the role in the F1 championship.

“And there’s no secret to say that the key of success of sport is to have everyone doing his own job and making sure that we do it in the right way for the benefit of the growth of the sport.

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“Any kind of personalism, any kind of thing that is not helpful for that, doesn’t make any need to comment because, as I said, we have all the interest to make sure that our sport is growing.

“We have to do a better job as a commercial rights holder, the team and the driver has to do their own job to make that in the right way.

“The same is for the FIA that has one year to develop, to grow, to work on a new team and they have to deliver the job because everyone put his credibility in the hands of the other. We are all united on that. If someone is not doing the right job it will be a problem.”