Organisational issues throughout the season led to further deterioration of trust, with farcical scenes on the Monaco Grand Prix grid and at Suzuka, when a recovery vehicle was deployed with cars still on track in treacherous conditions, worsening relations.
But the winter months have brought further damage, not least with Ben Sulayem's Twitter remarks regarding the value of F1 being deemed "unacceptable" and leaving the FIA potentially liable for any adverse effect.
This was after a bizarre exchange with Christian Horner when presenting the Red Bull team principal with the constructors' championship trophy at the FIA prize-giving gala.
FIA in sexism defence
Last week, the FIA was forced to defend its president yet again after historical sexist remarks were found on his old website.
Ben Sulayem is quoted as saying he does “not like women who think they are smarter than men".
An FIA spokesperson said: "The remarks in this archived website from 2001 do not reflect the president's beliefs.
“He has a strong record on promoting women and equality in sport, which he is happy to be judged on. It was a central part of his manifesto and actions taken this year and the many years he served as vice-president for sport prove this.”
As per Sport1, F1 owners Liberty Media have reached the point at which it wants Ben Sulayem removed from his position.
The report also suggests that current Motorsport UK chairman and former BAR team principal David Richards has been put forward as his replacement.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.