FIA president Sulayem eyes changes to stop Abu Dhabi F1 controversy repeat

FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has promised Formula 1 fans that its governing body will do what’s necessary to ensure no repeat of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix controversy.

FIA president Sulayem eyes changes to stop Abu Dhabi F1 controversy repeat

Sulayem’s arrival at the helm of the FIA comes just days after F1 has found its image tarnished in the wake of the safety car restart that decided the world championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has already announced plans for a probe into the events of Abu Dhabi, and Sulayem has said he wants to wait for the full findings from the investigation to be presented before deciding on the best course of action.

He thinks it would be completely wrong of him to make knee-jerk responses without fully understanding the circumstances of what happened.

“We will look into the rules and we are sure that, if any situation like this occurs in the future, we will have an instant solution for it,” he said during a press conference in Paris. “Or we avoid it even.

“There are so many areas that we can improve. We cannot just sit and say we are good. No, it's not enough in a sport as heavy, I would say, and as important [as F1].”

Sulayem will have direct authority over whether or not F1 sticks with race director Michael Masi, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation in recent days.

Mohammed ben Sulayem, President EMSO (UAE)

Mohammed ben Sulayem, President EMSO (UAE)

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Asked if he had full confidence in the Australian, he said: “Why do we jump? We'll have to actually look into the matter.

“I am just newly elected, and I will look into the matter tomorrow. I have a meeting with the staff, and I will look into every single matter that can be improved.

Read Also:

“But I definitely will not just jump to a conclusion on decisions without going back to my team.”

Sulayem is well aware about the challenges he faces in his role at a time when the governing body’s credibility has been questioned, and has vowed to step down from other responsibilities outside of the FIA in a bid to help him concentrate on his new role.

“If you talk to me about the credibility of the FIA, yes, we lie on good structures, and [with] good teams,” he said.

“But there is always a place for improvement. We just have to look where can we improve.

“One thing is that I will devote myself, and I am not going to have any other job except being the President of the FIA.

“I stepped down from all of my other responsibilities. I am not going to do anything else. And I'm not going to be a burden on the FIA.

“I will concentrate with passion, with the right team, and I have a good team, and we are asking for even a better team. So this is why the FIA is credible.”

shares
comments
Sulayem: "No forgiveness" for Hamilton if he breached F1's FIA gala rules
Previous article

Sulayem: "No forgiveness" for Hamilton if he breached F1's FIA gala rules

Next article

Verstappen tops Autosport's F1 team boss rankings for 2021

Verstappen tops Autosport's F1 team boss rankings for 2021
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022