July 23, 2024

Even though Mohammed Ben Sulayem is becoming less and less popular among F1 drivers and teams, he has come out swinging.

After a tumultuous tenure in office thus far, Mohammed Ben Sulayem has declared that the media has attempted to “massacre and assassinate” him and that he does not care about the approval of Formula One drivers and teams.

After the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Emirati official was chosen to succeed Jean Todt; however, due to a string of contentious incidents, his standing among important F1 figures has drastically declined in the last 12 months.

The most important of these was the choice to look into F1 Academy director Susie Wolff after reading an article in BusinessF1 magazine that stated rival team principals were worried about rumors that her husband, Toto Wolff, the principal of the Mercedes team, was receiving confidential information.

The F1 grid as a whole backed Mrs. Wolff’s strongly worded statement refuting the allegations, and all teams posted coordinate statements in response. Shortly after, the investigation was closed, but Ben Sulayem’s standing in the paddock and reputation suffered greatly as a result of the scandal.

Another outcome of the story was Lewis Hamilton publicly rejecting Ben Sulayem. The Mercedes driver was questioned about whether the FIA president still supported Wolff after he had previously expressed his support for her following her filing of a criminal complaint prior to the Australian Grand Prix. “He never has,” he shot back.

Ben Sulayem was also brought before the FIA Ethics Committee due to allegations from whistleblowers that he had attempted to use his position to influence the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 and to pressure authorities not to certify the Las Vegas circuit before the race’s first running. In the end, he was found not guilty on either charge.

Speaking to GrandPrix247 about the criticism he has received, Ben Sulayem said, “Look at me, the media try to massacre me and assassinate me.” I am standing tall even though it is not necessary. Investigating problems is a good idea, but spreading false information and lies is not appropriate in our sport.

In the end, fairness is necessary for the sport. You are aware of my experiences over the past two years. It resembles a yearly rotation. What happens next? What remains of these falsehoods and rumors?

“I’m engaged in activities. Examine the backing. Visit the website of FIA. The members’ support has overwhelmed me. People need to realize that I am here because of the [FIA] members, not the drivers, F1 teams, or the media.

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