FIA president cleared of interference after lengthy Las Vegas Grand Prix investigation

Henry Valantine
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 president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been cleared of wrongdoing after the FIA’s Ethics Committee could not substantiate claims of interference into the Saudi Arabian and Las Vegas Grands Prix last year.

Ben Sulayem had been under investigation over claims he had sought to reverse an additional penalty given to Fernando Alonso during the race in Jeddah last season, as well has having allegedly sought to interfere with the track homologation process prior to the Las Vegas event, and the month-long case has now reached a close.

FIA Ethics Committee reach unanimous verdict to clear Mohammed Ben Sulayem

These claims were escalated to the FIA’s Ethics Committee, which announced it would investigate the president of the governing body over the alleged interference into Formula 1’s newest flagship race last season.

Having completed a month-long investigation with interviews with almost a dozen witnesses, the FIA found these claims to be “unsubstantiated” and have subsequently cleared Ben Sulayem of wrongdoing.

“The FIA Compliance Department, supported by external advisors, conducted thorough inquiries over allegations of potential interference in sporting decisions during Formula One events in 2023,” read the statement from the FIA.

“After reviewing the results of the inquiries, the Ethics Committee were unanimous in their determination that there was no evidence to substantiate allegations of interference of any kind involving the FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“Concerns over potential interference were brought to the attention of the FIA Compliance Officer and subsequently passed to the FIA Ethics Committee under Article 32.2.5 of the FIA Statutes.

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“There followed a robust and wide-ranging independent review spanning 30 days, which included interviews with 11 witnesses.

“Allegations against the FIA President were unsubstantiated and strong evidence beyond any reasonable doubt was presented to support the determination of the FIA Ethics Committee.

“The FIA President was cleared of any wrongdoing regarding allegations (i) to have interfered with the Stewards’ decision to reverse an additional penalty on Car 14 following a challenge from the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 and (ii) to have attempted to interfere with the track certification process for the Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023. The certification was completed and approved in due time.

“The President’s complete co-operation, transparency, and compliance throughout the process during this investigation was greatly appreciated.”

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