Newly-appointed Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur believes the tension surrounding FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem will cease when the new Formula 1 season commences.
Ben Sulayem has been a prominent news topic in recent weeks for a wide variety of reasons.
He started the year by announcing the FIA’s desire to expand the current F1 grid beyond 10 teams, stating that he was looking into the expressions of interest process.
The movement came amid Andretti’s Global’s vocal interest to join the field, and the US company soon after announced a partnership with General Motors, which would see Cadillac arrive in F1 with it.
Ben Sulayem then took to Twitter to hit out at an “inflated” alleged $20 billion price tag placed on F1 by the Saudi Arabian Public Wealth Find.
F1 took issue with the president’s message and accused him of over-stepping his remit in a letter sent by lawyers to the FIA.
“The FIA has given unequivocal undertakings that it will not do anything to prejudice the ownership, management and/or exploitation of those rights,” the letter said.
“We consider that those comments, made from the FIA president’s official social media account, interfere with those rights in an unacceptable manner.”
However, the drama continued as The Times resurfaced a number of sexist comments that appeared on his personal website in 2001.
The FIA moved to defend Ben Sulayem, insisting that he has a “strong record of promoting women and equality” in motorsport.
Despite all the headlines, Vasseur is confident that tensions will cool when the season gets underway in one month’s time.
“I’m really convinced that as soon as we will put the cars on track, this will disappear a little bit off the screen,” he said.
“For sure we’ll have discussions but, as always, I hope that we’ll be able to stay focused on the sporting side.”