Ben Sulayem gets a reduced role in FIA prize gala following medical incident

Ben Sulayem gets a reduced role in FIA prize gala following medical incident

The role of FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem in Friday’s FIA prize gala will be reduced due to a medical incident that took place earlier in the week.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem “took ill and suffered a fall and concussion” during the week, according to the FIA, and was receiving medical attention at a hospital.

Ben Sulayem thanked the medical personnel, the President of the Azerbaijan Automobile Federation Anar Alakbarov and his team for their assistance as well as the well-wishers from the FIA family. Nonetheless, the FIA confirmed that the 62-year-old was still going to take part in the Baku prize ceremony.

Surprisingly videos of Ben Sulayem appearing to be fully fit at different Baku events were posted on social media, but one of the posts have since been taken down.

“Several days ago the President [Mohammed Ben Sulayem] took ill and suffered a fall and concussion,” the FIA stated. “He received care in hospital and will make a full recovery.

“He will. But he will do a lot less than initially planned.”

Max Verstappen and Red Bull will receive their trophies at the FIA prize gala on Friday night, but the event will be overshadowed by the governing body’s own investigation into Toto and Susie Wolff.

The controversial investigation was launched by the sport’s governing body in response to a BusinessF1 magazine report that stated the two had been exchanging confidential information.

The FIA dropped its investigation after two days, but not before upsetting Mercedes, Susie Wolff, and the Formula 1 organization.

After the incident Mercedes and the FIA have now begun what they referred to as a “active legal exchange.”

“We understand that there is significant media interest in the events of this week,” said Toto Wolff in a statement on Mercedes’ X account. “We are currently in active legal exchange with the FIA.

“We await full transparency about what took place and why, and have expressly reserved all legal rights.

“Therefore we ask for your understanding that we will not be commenting officially for now, but we will certainly be addressing the matter in due course.”

Meanwhile, Susie Wolff assured that that she would find out who initiated the process and demands answers from the governing body.

“When I saw the statement issued by the FIA yesterday, my first reaction was ‘is that it?” Wolff said. “For two days, insinuations have been made about my integrity in public and through background briefings, but nobody from the FIA spoken to me directly.

“I might have been collateral damage in an unsuccessful attempt on somebody or the target of failed attempt to discredit me personally, but I’ve worked too hard to have my reputation called into question by an unfounded press release.

“We’ve come along way as a sport. I was extremely thankful for the unified support of the Formula 1 teams, I’ve worked with so many passionate women and men at F1 and the FIA, who have the very best interests of our sport at heart.

“However, this episode has so far taken place without transparency or accountability.

“I received online abuse about my work and my family I will not allow myself to be intimidated and intend to follow up until I have found out who has instigated this campaign and misled the media.

“What happened this week is simply not good enough. As a sport, we must demand, and we deserve, better.”

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