FIA legal action threatened over president Mohammed Ben Sulayem F1 interference allegations

Michelle Foster
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, pictured 2023.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been cleared of wrongdoing over alleged interference into the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

FIA Member Clubs from the Americas have urged the FIA to take legal action against those it believes slandered motorsport’s governing body and its president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Earlier this year a whistleblower claimed Ben Sulayem had interfered in two Formula 1 Grands Prix last season, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and Las Vegas.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem cleared of wrongdoing

The one allegation related to Saudi Arabia where he was said to have attempted to get a penalty for Fernando Alonso overturned, while in the second it was claimed he pushed to stop the certification of the new Las Vegas Grand Prix.

However, following a probe by the FIA Compliance Officer and its six-person Ethics Committee, Ben Sulayem was cleared of any wrongdoing.

In a show of support from the FIA member clubs and sport federations of the Americas, they have now recommended the FIA take action against those trying “without cause” to “slander” the FIA and Ben Sulayem.

In the letter published by the FIA, the Member Clubs state that the “FIA Ethics Committee, composed of external and independent members, has unanimously issued the report, in which they declare Mr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the FIA, is absolved of the unfounded accusations of interfering in the Formula 1 events held in Saudi Arabia and Las Vegas, in 2023.

“That the resolution of the Ethics Committee ratifies that the President of the FIA, Mr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, acted honourably, transparently and independently.

“That accusations of impropriety and unethical practices propagated by some members of the print and digital media were intended for the sole purpose of causing harm to the FIA and its leadership, particularly the President.

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“That the selection of the FIA President is enshrined in the FIA Statutes and is the sole purview of its voting members and is not impacted by those from outside the organisation who attempt, for their own self-interest, to intervene.

“That we will recommend that the FIA initiate legal action against those who, without cause, slander the FIA and its leadership.

“We endorse and ratify our vote of confidence in support of Mr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, for his stewardship of the FIA and his progress to fulfilling his commitment to transform the FIA in an ethical and transparent manner in order to better serve its members.”

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