Liberty Media pushing to sack Mohammed Ben Sulayem amid sexist remarks

Liberty Media are reportedly in favour of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem being sacked from the role.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem remained firmly in the spotlight over the weekend, after sexist comments made by the president resurfaced online, to the disgrace of many in the motorsport community.

It’s been a difficult week or so for Ben Sulayem, with tensions between the FIA and F1 being at an all-time low, after he publicly backed Andretti-Cadillac’s proposed F1 entry and labelled the sport’s $20 billion price tag as “inflated”.

With his sexist comments from 2001 having resurfaced to add to everything that has recently happened, Germany’s Sport1 have reported that current F1 owners Liberty Media are open to the president being sacked from his role, with former Benetton and BAR team principal David Richards being a potential successor.

Ben Sulayem reportedly said in 2001 that he doesn’t like women who believe that they are “smarter than men”. However, the FIA have firmly defended the current president.

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An FIA spokesperson stated that Ben Sulayem “has a strong record on promoting women and equality”, something which he’s “happy to be judged on”.

“The remarks in this archived website from 2001 do not reflect the FIA president’s beliefs,” the spokesperson said.

“He has a strong record on promoting women and equality in sport, which he is happy to be judged on. It was a central part of his manifesto and actions taken this year and the many years he served as FIA vice president for sport prove this.”

The president will likely be hoping for a quiet week, especially with the 2023 launch season getting underway this week.

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It’s unlikely, though, that the FIA’s relationship with F1 will improve anytime soon, especially after Forbes labelled Liberty Media as the ‘world’s most valuable sports empire’ in 2023.

Liberty Media and F1 bosses were shocked after Ben Sulayem questioned the value of the proposed offer by the Saudi Arabia Investment Fund to purchase the commercial rights to the sport, with the American company having written a letter to Ben Sulayem highlighting their outrage, signed off by F1 lawyers Sacha Woodward Hill and Renee Wilm.

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Interestingly, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has been quoted to have somewhat taken a swipe at the governing body, with many now wondering what will happen next between the two organisations.

“The FIA is doing its job,” Domenicali is quoted as saying, per Blick correspondent Roger Benoit. “We are doing ours.”