FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has addressed drivers’ grievances over the increase in the maximum fine and the response is likely not what the F1 drivers expected.
The maximum fine that F1 drivers can face has been raised to €1 million, according to FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem, who cited inflation as the cause.
Ben Sulayem, who recently claimed that the sport is unable to establish a practical technical solution for monitoring track limits due to a lack of funding, attributed the increase in the fine limit to inflation.
A majority of F1 drivers opposed the latest increase in the highest possible fine that could be imposed on a driver, which went from €250k to €1 million. The FIA does not view it as excessive, despite the fact that two drivers on the grid make less than that in a year.
It is no secret that Ben Sulayem is no stranger to controversy. His earlier remarks this year that the sport’s value was significantly lower than what was being offered infuriated Formula One Management, and his most recent remarks are unlikely to win over the Formula 1 drivers.
He responded to the increased penalty fine by saying that any driver who is worried about such a large sum should just refrain from breaking the rules.
“The price of everything has gone up,” FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said. “The teams are now talking about billions in terms of what each team is worth, and we’ve still not improved our regulations dating back to Jurassic Park.
“We are not saying ‘Go and pay’. We are saying ‘Don’t make these unnecessary penalties’.
“If you don’t do it, you won’t get it. Nobody will impose something on you if you follow the rules. The rules are there to be policed and to be implemented.”
However, the FIA President declined to clarify what could possibly be covered by such a large fine.
“Stick to the rules, and nobody will say anything, nobody will charge you anything,” he added. “People are over-exaggerating about this. And if anyone is penalised, where does the money go? To grassroots (motorsport), investment back into the sport.
“I hope they can make life easier for our stewards by sticking to the rules instead of misbehaving.
“We obviously don’t want them to reach that [€1m], so we’re saying don’t do it. The rules are there, they’re transparent.
“We have nothing to hide. But I cannot tell you why the one million would be implemented. That’s for the stewards, not the president.
“The stewards are there, they are experienced, and they know what to do. And the drivers, they are very intelligent.
“They know about the rules before they jump in the car.”