FIA confirms investigation, but does not name Ben Sulayem

F1 News

FIA confirms investigation, but does not name Ben Sulayem
5 March at 19:24

The FIA has officially announced that the motorsport federation's compliance officer has launched an investigation of "certain individuals" within the leadership. The statement does not mention Mohammed Ben Sulayem by name, but it is clear that the Emirati are (partly) involved.

Last Monday, it was revealed via the BBC that the Emirati allegedly interfered with a time penalty imposed on Fernando Alonso at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix a year ago. After the Spaniard initially received a 10-second penalty - losing third place - the decision was later reversed. On Tuesday, it was revealed via British Broadcasting that the FIA president had tried to have the Las Vegas Grand Prix cancelled.

The whistleblower reported the latest allegation to the FIA's compliance officer and ethics committee. The BBC saw this report. It states that "at the insistence of the FIA president, they had to find a way that made the circuit unsafe and prevented the race from going ahead." Why this had to happen is unclear.

FIA comes out with statement

The FIA has now responded for the first time. The federation says: "FIA confirms that the Compliance Officer has received a report detailing potential allegations involving certain members of its governing bodies. The Compliance Department is assessing these concerns, as is common practice in these matters, to ensure that due process is meticulously followed."

The following statement has been sent to The Associated Press by a spokesperson of the FIA: "It is unfortunate and a source of great concern that the matter has been disclosed to the media without any prior authorization and that certain elements of the report were inaccurately reported."

Ben Sulayem has thus not been named. Moreover, the federation seems to be saying that several individuals within the organisation are under scrutiny.