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Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President, FIA
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Special feature

Why Mohammed Ben Sulayem believes his mission to create a strong FIA is so important

As a former rally driver, global motor racing’s head honcho knows a thing or two about commitment. His style is
best described as flat-out, and he’s not one to allow Formula 1’s entrenched interests to dilute his vision for placing sport before business, as OLEG KARPOV found out when he spoke to Ben Sulayem

He’s quite a character. Since taking office, Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been nothing like his predecessor. Whereas Jean Todt preferred to keep a low profile and shunned the media, the new FIA president isn’t afraid to speak his mind – not least when it comes to the patrimony he was handed by his predecessor. In fact, he makes it pretty clear that he’s not too impressed with what he’s inherited.

His style is not to everyone’s taste. And it’s fair to say that in the two years he’s been at the helm, he’s upset quite a few people in the F1 paddock. There are those who believe that the championship will be better off without the FIA and its new, often combative, Emirati president – and, for the first time in a decade and a half, there’s talk of a breakaway series.

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