Liberty Media could decide to split F1 from the FIA as Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s continued involvement is considered to be ‘detrimental to the sport’, claims F1 journalist Andrew Benson.
A number of sources have apparently told Benson and the BBC that Liberty Media have 'viewed a series of incidents in recent months as having a direct link to Ben Sulayem'.
These are believed to include the reinvestigation of Lewis Hamilton’s track crossing incident at the Qatar Grand Prix and the summonsing of Fred Vasseur and Toto Wolff to the stewards for swearing in Abu Dhabi.
Although Ben Sulayem's involvement was meant to be downscaled earlier this year, he remains involved with strategic matters and top-level decision-making.
Tensions between F1 and the FIA
Several insiders reportedly told the BBC during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that, if Ben Sulayem continued to conduct himself in a way perceived as 'detrimental to the sport' by high-ranking officials, F1's owners, Liberty Media, may lose patience and contemplate a breakaway from the FIA.
Benson's report further claims that a similar move to split from the FIA ‘was already considered by F1' in 2022, before relations between the two parties were smoothed over.
Both F1 and the FIA clashed again on Tuesday as the governing body opened an investigation relating to allegations of a conflict of interest between Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and his wife Susie Wolff, who is director of the F1 Academy.
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