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Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1, Mohammed bin Sulayem, President, FIA, on the grid
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Special feature

How F1's political battles played out in 2023

A relative lack of political turmoil doesn’t exactly mean peace in our time. Matters on multiple fronts might soon bubble to the surface, as the Formula 1 balance of power was often at stake in this year's biggest political battles

Paddock politics largely imitated on-track proceedings this year: the drama was turned right down. Formula 1 wasn’t still reeling from an intensely controversial title decider, no teams were found guilty of breaching the cost cap, dolphins could reclaim ownership of ‘porpoising’, and Oscar Piastri didn’t find himself at the centre of a custody battle. But F1 and the FIA certainly weren’t playing happy families. That marriage of convenience remained just as loveless.

For many, that it didn’t all boil over was a welcome change, given the exhausting vitriol that has hung around the series since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale. For others, it underlined why 2023 was very far from a season for the ages amid the Max Verstappen monopoly.

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