Tensions between Formula 1 bosses and the FIA are continuing to grow, to the extent where German journalist Ralph Bach has claimed via Sport1.de that Liberty Media are eager for Mohammed Ben Sulayem to be axed as FIA president.
It’s been a testing few weeks for Ben Sulayem, who seemingly isn’t in F1 bosses’ good books.
Issues between F1 and the governing body started a little while ago, with Ben Sulayem having publicly supported Andretti-Cadillac’s bid to join the pinnacle of motorsport in 2026.
This also angered the vast majority of the teams, who are against Andretti joining the grid.
Things quickly became worse for the FIA president following comments he made regarding a report by Bloomberg, where it was revealed that Liberty Media rejected a $20 billion offer from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to sell the commercial rights to F1.
Ben Sulayem used his personal social media account to share his opinion that the price tag was “inflated”, infuriating F1 bosses.
F1’s lawyers immediately wrote a letter to the FIA president detailing his “unacceptable” actions, with Liberty Media having hinted that they could sue the governing body for damages.
To add to it all, sexist comments made by Ben Sulayem resurfaced over the weekend, from a now-archived version of his website.
“I love the desert and I love meeting real people”, but also dislikes talking “about money, nor do I like women who think they are smarter than men, for they are not in truth,” Ben Sulayem wrote over 20 years ago.
The FIA instantly jumped to defend their president, by hailing his “strong record on promoting women and equality in sport”.
“The remarks in this archived website from 2001 do not reflect the President’s beliefs,” stated an FIA spokesperson.
“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 Vice President for Sport prove this.”
With everything that’s gone on, Liberty Media have seemingly had enough of the FIA president, who only took on the role in December 2021.
Reportedly, former Benetton and BAR team boss David Richards is who the American company want to see replace Ben Sulayem; however, the FIA president can only be dropped before the end of his tenure should he be found guilty of having committed gross misconduct.