FIA-F1 relationship “on the edge” - it's “open for war”

Respected Sky Sports TV pundit Karun Chandhok believes the relationship between the FIA and F1 is “on the edge” after a series of disagreements.
(L to R): Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President with Usain Bolt (JAM) Former Athlete and Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula
(L to R): Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President with Usain Bolt (JAM)…

The FIA and F1 - including the sport’s owners, Liberty Media - have been at odds over a variety of issues throughout the first month of 2023.

Things escalated following a report by Bloomberg emerged in late-January, revealing that Liberty Media rejected a bid worth $20bn (£16bn) to take over the sport.

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The news was met by a series of tweets from FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who expressed his concerns about F1’s price tag.

Soon after, it was reported that F1 had sent a “legal warning" to the FIA for Ben Sulayem’s comments over the potential sale of F1.

The two parties seem to disagree over Andretti’s likely F1 bid, while Ben Sulayem’s stance on political statements from drivers has appeared to annoy many.

Speaking on Sky Sports F1’s latest podcast on YouTube, Chandhok described the situation between the FIA and F1 as “open war”.

“The relationship is on the edge between the FIA and F1.Publicly, last year, they played nice. But we know, from behind the scenes in the paddock, it was all getting fractious. From the letter fired across, it is clear that it’s now open war!

“The president of the FIA put strong tweets out which Liberty Media and F1 bosses did not take well. There is confusion. Ben Sulayem implied that the FIA have control over the value of F1 and who it should be sold to.

“But the 100-year agreement, signed famously by Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosely, awarded a lease to F1 management which runs to 2110.

“At the time there was the Don King clause which gave the FIA certain veto rights, but that’s no longer valid because F1 has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

“So Ben Sulayem is saying ‘we have control’ but F1 are saying ‘no you don’t’. This is going to rumble on.”

(L to R): Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President with Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal (KSA) President of the Saudi
(L to R): Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President with Prince Khalid Bin…

Ted Kravtiz - who is also a pundit for Sky - explained how Ben Sulayem’s tweet at the start of the year irked the 10 teams.

“The tweet is what really, really annoyed F1,” Kravitz added. “The teams felt that he overstepped the mark.

“The FIA inviting applicants to join the grid? It’s not really the FIA’s decision. It’s not the FIA’s gift to invite people to join the F1. At the moment, the teams are saying: ‘No, thankyou, Andretti!’”

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