FIA President sent, not Backwards, But Swirling Away from F1
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem

FIA President sent, not Backwards, But Swirling Away from F1

The F1 world is buzzing with news of a major shakeup at the FIA. President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has announced he will be stepping back from direct involvement in the sport, a move that the governing body claims was pre-planned. However, many are speculating that it’s a response to the growing controversy surrounding Ben Sulayem.

The F1 off-season has been filled with tension as long-standing disagreements between the FIA and F1 have come to a head. Matters such as expanding the grid and revisions to the International Sporting Code have led to clashes, and Ben Sulayem has found himself at the center of the controversy.


He made headlines with comments about the Andretti bid, and an archived version of his website from 2001 resurfaced in which he made derogatory remarks about women. The FIA claimed that these comments did not reflect Ben Sulayem’s beliefs, but the damage was done.

Ben Sulayem also sparked outrage when he spoke publicly about rumors of interest in purchasing F1, which prompted a warning from F1 and Liberty Media’s legal heads. He had crossed a line, and his actions were seen as interfering in the business of others.

The FIA has been undergoing a restructuring of its F1 management, and this process has recently been completed. Single-seater technical boss Nikolas Tombazis has been appointed as ‘single-seater director’, and long-time F1 man Steve Nielsen has arrived as sporting director. According to the FIA, this was the natural next step in Ben Sulayem’s evolution, but it’s being viewed by some as a way to limit his involvement in day-to-day F1 business.

Ben Sulayem will still be involved in key decisions and strategic matters, but he will spend more time focusing on his wider responsibilities as FIA president. The letter sent to teams stated that Tombazis will have greater responsibility as director of the single-seater department, while CEO Natalie Robyn will have broader responsibilities for the FIA’s operation.

This is a dramatic turn of events in the world of F1, and only time will tell what the impact of this shakeup will be. Will Ben Sulayem’s departure signal a new era of stability, or will it trigger even more chaos and controversy? Only time will tell.