F1 News

FIA president expresses dissatisfaction with allegations

FIA president feels victimised: 'I was already convicted'

24 April at 08:30
  • GPblog.com

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has spoken out. The top executive was recently acquitted of several charges made against him following internal investigations. However, he believes he has still been condemned by 'public opinion'.

The FIA president was accused of interfering with the Las Vegas Grand Prix. He allegedly tried to prevent the Las Vegas Street Circuit from being approved by the FIA ahead of the first Formula 1 race in the gambling city in 2023. The reason behind this is not clear.

Ben Sulayem was also accused of meddling in the outcome of the Saudi Arabia GP, also in 2023. He allegedly used his influence to overturn Fernando Alonso's penalty, giving the Aston Martin driver his podium finish back. The FIA chief was acquitted of both cases after an investigation.

FIA president: 'I have been convicted as yet'

During the F1 weekend in China, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the course of events. "I wish it was only an accusation, but I was already convicted in the court of public opinion," he said. "I have nothing to hide. I am proud of the work I have accomplished."

It has been suggested here and there that the allegations had everything to do with tensions between the FIA and F1 owner Liberty Media. However, Ben Sulayem dismisses this as nonsense. "FOM is our partner. I don't have any problems. I just want to continue doing business with them. I can stand tall and look you in the eyes and say I am a sportsman and I play by the rules," said the FIA president.