Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

FIA opens up on "unsustainable" financial deficit it has been fighting to cut

The FIA has revealed the extent of the “unsustainable” financial hole it has been battling to fill, as it played down former president Jean Todt’s claims its plight was exaggerated.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA President

McKlein / Motorsport Images

Todt spoke to L’Equipe this week and took aim at comments from current president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who has repeatedly said he inherited a tricky financial deficit when he took over in 2021.

Speaking to the French newspaper about those remarks, Todt said: “Each year, the accounts have been largely profitable, except the last two years, marked by the COVID crisis, which could have finished the federation if we had not succeeded in quickly building the conditions which allowed F1 to be the first international competition to be organised despite lockdowns.”

But the FIA insists that things have not been blown out of proportion, as it has now opened up about how the state of the finances when Ben Sulayem’s administration arrived were “unsatisfactory and unsustainable.”

According to the FIA’s audited accounts, the governing body’s operating loss amounted to €12.8 million in 2019, €22.1m in 2020 and €24m in 2021.

After Ben Sulayem took over, the FIA had reduced its operating loss to €7.7m in 2022, with a forecasted loss of €3m this year.

It is hoped that the deficit can be further reduced in 2024, before it targets a balanced operating result in 2025.

A spokesman for the FIA has explained how serious the situation was when the new administration took over.

FIA name board

Photo by: Erik Junius

FIA name board

“As the FIA president outlined during the annual general assemblies week in Baku, the FIA has been transparent in revealing that soon after the new presidential team took office, the financial state that was discovered was unsatisfactory and unsustainable,” said the spokesman.

“The federation was incurring significant losses.

“The senior leadership’s mission is to sustain the FIA, and while we are not for profit, we do need to at least have balanced books and ideally create a surplus to strengthen equity for unforeseen events and to invest in research and development in the areas of safety, technology, and regulation across sport and mobility and to meet our primary purpose of supporting our member clubs.

Read Also:

“We will be releasing figures for 2021-22 in the coming weeks and 2023 figures in mid-June 2024 for the extraordinary general assembly.”

Ben Sulayem has not been afraid to declare that the state of the FIA’s finances were unexpected when he arrived in December 2021.

“There was a financial issue that we didn’t know about,” he said a few months after taking over.

“We had a deficit, even before the pandemic, but I’m pleased to have cleared that.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Interview: How F1 sponsorship reflects the changing face of the audience
Next article Red Bull completes first F1 pitstop in total darkness

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe