According to reports, F1 owners Liberty Media might get impatient and consider severing ties with the FIA due to increasing tensions.
Formula 1 owners Liberty Media are allegedly considering splitting from the FIA due to increasing discontent with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s actions.
This week, the governing body returned to the public eye following a revelation that it was conducting investigations into possible unauthorized disclosure of confidential information.
Mercedes and Formula 1 have refuted the claims, and all nine of Mercedes’ rivals have since issued statements denying any role in filing complaints with the FIA, contradicting earlier reports.
The BBC’s Andrew Benson reports that F1 owners Liberty Media have been contemplating about splitting from the FIA for the reason they are frustrated with Ben Sulayem’s actions.
According to the BBC, “a number sources” were cited as claiming that senior officials believed Ben Sulayem’s actions would be unfavorable for the sport and that Liberty Media was considering leaving the governing body if the president kept up his current pattern of conduct.
These are believed to include the decision to reopen the investigation into Lewis Hamilton’s incident of crossing a live track during the Grand Prix in Qatar and the call-up of Toto Wolff and Fred Vasseur, the principals of the Mercedes and Ferrari teams, for fiery comments during a press conference at the Grand Prix in Las Vegas.
Although Racetrackmasters.com is aware that this is untrue, the very structure of Formula 1’s long-term commercial agreement with the FIA binds the two organizations together.
In terms of the relationship between the FIA and F1, Ben Sulayem has rocked the balance of power over the year. He began the year by claiming that the $20 billion price tag for the commercial arm of sports was exaggerated, prior to the discovery of past sexist remarks purportedly made by the Emirati on an old version of his own website.
Ben Sulayem who was elected as FIA president in December 2021 later pledged to step back from the sport, but in the past few weeks he has been showing up at more race events.
The president was reportedly the primary motivator behind the investigation, though the FIA has not disclosed who initiated it.
F1 and the FIA have clashed frequently since their establishment, but it appears that tensions are at an all-time high at the moment.
In the past, Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley were able to make things right, but now that new individuals have been put in charge, it’s unclear if the same outcome is likely to happen.
The most recent instance when F1 threatened to break off from its governing body was in 2009, in reaction to a proposal for a cost cap in 2010 made by members of the now-dissolved Formula One Teams Association.