FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has given up hands-on control of Formula 1, according to a report.
Ben Sulayem will remain the president of the governing body, but Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA director of single-seater racing, will deal with F1 and its teams as the day-to-day contact, according to Sportsmail.
Ben Sulayem reportedly sent an email to F1 teams on Monday afternoon, outlining his intentions to step back from his F1 involvement.
“My stated objective was to be a non-executive president via the recruitment of a team of professional managers, which has now been largely completed,” the letter says.
“Therefore, going forward, your day-to-day contact for all matters on F1 will be with Nikolas and his team, while I will focus on strategic matters with my leadership team.”
Ben Sulayem has faced criticism in recent weeks, with tension rising between F1 and the sport’s governing body.
He angered F1 when he labelled a reported $20 billion price tag on the sport as “inflated” which resulted in a letter from the series’ lawyers to the FIA, who accused Ben Sulayem of over-stepping his remit.
Elsewhere, old comments from his personal website appeared in which he is quoted as saying he does “not like women who think they are cleverer than men”.
As he faced accusations of sexism, the FIA moved to defend Ben Sulayem, insisting the words do not reflect his views.
The FIA has also been criticised for prohibiting unapproved political and personal statements from drivers, with F1 boss Stefano Domenicali retaliating to the ban earlier this week.
Ben Sulayem was elected to the FIA presidency in 2021 as the successor to Jean Todt, but now faces a fight to extend his stint in office beyond a first four-year tenure, according to the report.
Amid the tension, Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur recently stated that he expects the drama surrounding Ben Sulayem to calm once the 2023 season gets underway.
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