03 February 2023
According to a recent report, Liberty Media, the owners of F1 want to get rid of Ben Sulayem, the current president of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), elected in December 2021 for a four-year term.
The F1 has said they have a possible replacement; the rumour mill indicates that David Richards, chairman of Prodrive and Motorsport UK, who has also been an F1 constructors team principal.
He has recently been accused of sexist remarks, his controversial view regarding increasing the number of F1 teams and his recent statement in respect of the exploratory conversations between Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Liberty Media about a potential acquisition of the F1.
The Public Investment Fund offered US$20 billion, but Liberty Media was not interested in selling.
Mr Sulayem tweeted regarding the ‘inflated price tag’. F1 was furious and pointed out that Ben Sulayem’s remarks ‘oversteps the bounds of both the FIA’s remit and its contractual right.’
Legally, F1 has the ‘exclusive right to exploit the commercial rights in the FIA F1 World Championship’ due to a 100-year contract set up by Max Mosely and Bernie Ecclestone in 2000, meaning the FIA transfers the commercial rights of the sport to F1 holding company.
It is all fascinating stuff; however, to overthrow Mr Sulayem, ‘real misconduct’ must be proved.
Watch this space……