Why is FIA President Mohammed Bin Sulayem under investigation?

Mohammed Bin Sulayem holds a significant role in the Formula One industry as the current president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, overseeing various auto racing events, including Formula One.

However, Sulayem’s reputation faced scrutiny during the last Formula One season due to a serious inquiry conducted against him, raising doubts about his standing in the sport among spectators.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem under inquiry?

According to certain reports from the BBC, the renowned figure of the racing world, Mohammed Bin Sulayem, is under investigation for an attempt to change the outcome of a Formula One race.

Apparently, Paolo Basarri, the compliance officer of the motorsport governing body, had given a report to the ethics committee, claiming that Ben Sulayem wanted to reverse a 10 second penalty imposed on Fernando Alonso during the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The BBC reports suggested that a whistleblower had witnessed Bin Sulayem contact the FIA’s vice president for sport in the Middle East, Sheikh Abdullah bin Isa al-Khalifa, who was also present at the Saudi Arabian event at that time.

The dismissal of the penalty imposed on the Spanish driver returned his pole position behind the two main Red Bull drivers, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, elevating his position from fourth place. However, if the 42-year-old failed to receive a penalty deduction, Mercedes’s star driver, George Russell, would easily be promoted to third place.

How long Mohammed Ben Sulayem been FIA President?

In his early career, Bin Sulayem was initially a former rally driver, earning the reputation of being one of the most successful drivers of the Middle East Championship by securing 14 titles of victory.

Shortly after his peak success in driving, the Arabian was the President of the Emirates Motorsports Organization, the representative of the United Arab Emirates in the FIA, in 2005. After three consecutive years, he was elected an official member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, along with the responsibility of organizing the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009.

Fast forward to 2012, where he played a vital role as one of the founding members and chairman of the FIA sub-region of the Arab Council of Touring and Automobile Clubs. Then, finally, in 2021, he was chosen as the president of the FIA and has been in the position for three long years after the pandemic.

Do you think Ben Sulayem was right to remove the penalty imposed on Fernando Alonso? Tell us about your opinions in the comment section below!


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