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Formula 1 has the next affair

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Formula 1 has the next affair

Formula 1 is not calming down. While the case of Red Bull team boss Christian Horner continues to smolder, the President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has now come into focus. The FIA ​​confirmed that its ethics committee had opened an investigation against the official from Dubai.

In doing so, she confirmed a report by the public broadcaster BBC. According to the FIA, there is a report containing detailed allegations against members of its governing bodies. The FIA ​​ethicists would now examine these allegations, “as is usual in these cases, so that due process is strictly followed.”

Influence on race stewards

Ben Sulayem is said to have tried to persuade the track stewards to withdraw a time penalty extended to ten seconds against Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The sanction was canceled after the racing team intervened and the Spaniard was placed back in third place.

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Aston Martin was able to prove, among other things, that (forbidden) touching of the car while serving a five-second time penalty for violating the rules of the starting grid had not been punished in at least seven previous cases. Ben Sulayem has not yet commented on the BBC’s presentation.

Las Vegas allegations

As the BBC reports, there are further allegations against the FIA ​​President. The 62-year-old is said to have demanded in the preseason that the new race track in Las Vegas be denied approval by the world association. According to the BBC informant, there were no real safety concerns and the reasons for a racing ban could have been invented. However, the FIA ​​inspectors could not provide any plausible reasons and therefore certified the route. Ben Sulayem did not comment on this for the time being either.

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For Formula 1, the Grand Prix in Las Vegas is a prestigious project in which many millions of euros have been invested. There have been several disagreements between the Formula 1 leadership and Ben Sulayem in the recent past.

According to further reports, the FIA ​​President’s financial behavior will also be examined by the Ethics Committee. The results of the investigation should be expected in four to six weeks.

Verstappen harassed

Ben Sulayem had previously come into focus in the affair surrounding Christian Horner, team boss of Red Bull Racing. On the sidelines of the Bahrain Grand Prix, he is said to have tried to persuade Horner’s driver Max Verstappen to publicly speak out in favor of Horner. However, the world champion rejected this and, according to the BBC, Ben Sulayem replied that if he wanted to exonerate Horner, the FIA ​​should initiate its own investigation.

As part of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which is taking place this Saturday in Jeddah (6 p.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for Formula 1 and on Sky), Verstappen confessed to Red Bull on Wednesday. “I know what they did for me have in my career. The intention is absolutely to stay with this team,” said the Dutchman. Verstappen’s contract with Red Bull runs until 2028. “I enjoy it and am happy here. As long as we deliver our performance, there is no reason to leave,” Verstappen continued. He wants to concentrate on his performance and racing.

Team boss Christian Horner is accused of treating an employee inappropriately. Red Bull GmbH, which owns Red Bull Racing, dismissed the woman’s internal complaint after an internal investigation. However, the investigation is controversial because Red Bull did not provide any details about the matter and did not explain why the investigations by the British lawyer appointed were in Horner’s favor.

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