Formula 1 Team Principals are calling for Mohammed Ben Sulayem to be replaced as the president of the FIA amid a series of controversies.
That’s according to BBC Sport, with some team bosses expressing their dissatisfaction over Ben Sulayem’s position.
“Everyone thinks he’s got to go,” an anonymous F1 team boss told BBC. “That is definitely the general view.”
F1 squads and the FIA are at odds over expanding the grid beyond 10 teams amid interest from various new parties, with the FIA opening the formal application process on Thursday.
The anonymous boss stated that Andretti Global’s possible F1 entry was one of many “irritants”.
F1 is also unhappy after Ben Sulayem took to Twitter to label an alleged $20 billion price tag on the sport as “inflated”, which resulted in lawyers issuing a letter to the FIA accusing Ben Sulayem of over-stepping his remit.
Old comments made on Ben Sulayem’s personal website from 2001 resurfaced recently, in which he is quoted as saying he does “not like women who think they are smarter than men”.
A senior F1 source told BBC “there has been widespread disgust” over the comment.
“Those kind of comments bring down CEOs every day,” the individual added.
“What he really should be doing is back-pedalling and apologising – ‘I made those comments 21 years ago. I regret them,’ … whatever he wants to say.”
Another F1 ‘insider’ suggested to BBC that his position is currently hanging by a thread.
“What will be interesting will be does he change his game at all? If he makes one more mis-step, I don’t know how he survives.”
Another said: “[This] is going to be pretty interesting – even the dynamic between [F1 president] Stefano [Domenicali] and Mohammed. I get the sense they will come in not aligned.”
Motorsport UK, a governing body that is recognised by the FIA, issued a statement to BBC when asked if it thought Ben Sulayem was still fit to be president.
“Motorsport should be an environment where everyone can participate, spectate, or volunteer their time in an inclusive environment that is safe, fair and fun,” they said.
”There is a great deal more to be done in changing the culture within the sport to ensure that motorsport is more representative of society’s demographics and champions best behaviours. For any queries or comments on the FIA, please speak directly to their media office.”
Ben Sulayem took up the position of FIA president in December 2021, replacing Jean Todt.
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