Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024

FIA president Ben Sulayem under investigation for interfering in F1 race – report

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is being investigated by the governing body for allegedly interfering in a penalty decision, according to a report.

Ben Sulayem is said to have attempted to overturn a post-race penalty given to Fernando Alonso at last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The BBC claim the FIA’s compliance officer Paolo Basarri has submitted a report to its ethics committee stating a whistleblower made the claim against Ben Sulayem.

Alonso was given a 10-second time penalty for failing to serve an earlier penalty correctly. The stewards noted an Aston Martin team member touched his car with a jack while he was serving a five-second time penalty.

Aston Martin successfully petitioned the stewards to review and overturn their decision, after showing other occasions where teams had touched cars with jacks while serving similar penalties.

At the time the stewards “concluded that there was no clear agreement, as was suggested to the stewards previously, that could be relied upon to determine that parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car.

“In the circumstances, we considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on car 14 [Alonso] needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly.”

The FIA has been approached for comment.

Under Ben Sulayem the sport’s governing body has made far-reaching efforts to improve its decision-making during grands prix. This followed the controversial end to the 2021 world championship, four days before Ben Sulayem’s election, in which FIA’s F1 race director incorrectly applied the rules in arranging a final-lap restart which swung the outcome of the title fight.

In reaction a new race director was appointed and other staff hired to reduce the burden on that individual. Revised regulations and clearer driving guidelines were also created, and a new Remote Operations Centre established to aid the work of those on-site at races.

This article will be updated

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Browse all 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

118 comments on “FIA president Ben Sulayem under investigation for interfering in F1 race – report”

  1. In this case though the penalty was right to be reversed because other teams did previously touch the car.

    Those shadows in the background trying to disrupt Red Bull (both teams) and tarnish the FIA president.

    Mercedes smiling

    1. The point is the alleged attempted interference in the decision, not anyone else’s assessment of whether it was correct or not. I really can’t make out the twists and turns of logic in the second and third comment. Why would this issue disrupt Red Bull (even further)? Whatever is happening there is very clearly internal to their company and team – as Jos Verstappen made evident to everyone.

      1. I think the implication is that it’s Mercedes orchestrating all of this, as they have a beef with both Red Bull and the FIA.

        (For the record, I think that’s absolute rubbish, but that’s what Jack is implying).

      2. Yellow Baron
        5th March 2024, 2:25

        Wouldn’t be surprising if this is the same type of stuff that went on when Bernie and max were in charge but now it comes out more regularly primarily because Ben in dislikes more or just less respected. Considering what Bernie etc new about Singapore 2008 and other things we know it’s not unlikely

        1. I reckon all the stuff we are seeing right now has been par for the course throughout F1 history. Just availability of easier to access whistleblowing channels has meant we are more likely to hear about it.

    2. What does this has to do with Mercedes? Both the Red Bull chenadrigans and now the stuff with Ben Sulayem? There are no reports on Mercedes, or people in the Mercedes team, being behind the leaks, so perhaps we should leave them out of it?
      And I think many wont miss the FIA president if this turns out to be true and he has to resign, or a certain team principal from a certain team…

      1. Red Bull embarrasses them on track, and Wolff no doubts blame Horner for his corrupt dealings with the FIA getting investigated back in December, until he got it shut down before it started using his wife’s connections and expensive lawyers.

        Wolff has his F1 employee plant now to get F1’s decisions made in Merc’s favour, he just needs a FIA head that can be paid off like Sulayem’s predecessor could, that will turn a blind eye to the corrupting of FIA senior personnel in favour of Mercedes again.

        Masi GONE
        Rao GONE
        Sulayem watching remaining FIA staff like a hawk

        1. Tin. Foil. Hat?

          1. Yellow Baron
            5th March 2024, 2:27

            Perhaps a little but FIA corruption is nothing new. Depends on how you view corruption though. A system like that doesn’t just change overnight

          2. There is no “view on corruption”… What you are saying in bribery and some kind of form of espionage throughout the entire FIA doen by one team. That’s not even corruption, that’s a federal offence in most counties in the world. But hey, it’s only “a little tinfoil hat”.

          3. @RUTH222

            What you are saying in bribery and some kind of form of espionage throughout the entire FIA doen by one team.

            You do know the “FIA stands for Ferrari International Assistance” is just a long-standing joke, don’t you?
            Although there has been a certain amount of favouritism (written in by Bernie) which is, I think, pretty much eliminated.

        2. amped, do you really want to trust the claims of a magazine that is famous for going bankrupt multiple times for printing fake stories and is run by a journalist that holds the record for being sued the most times in UK legal history for printing fake stories?

          To give you an idea of how this magazine operates, during one lawsuit against the magazine, the editor was asked what evidence they had to prove their claim. The editor’s response was to tell the judge “well, I think it’s true, so it must be true” – that statement, asserting that the claims were true because the editor thought they must be true, was the only submission they made to support their claims.

          1. It may escape people’s minds, but respected media outlets did if fact verify that Wolff did in fact mention something in a meeting that he shouldn’t have been privy too. The story gained far more ground than just whatever guff BusinessF1 posted, and that is the reason why action had to be taken by the FIA, to see if there was something that required action or if it was just baseless accusations.

            The baseless accusations were made by Susie Wolff, who accused them of making baseless public accusations despite neither Toto or her being named by the FIA. To cry misogyny when her being a woman was of no importance and her not in fact being the primary focus of the investigation, Toto was.

            What you should be asking is, if the allegations were so baseless as Toto and Susie claim they are, why did they feel the need to react in such an defensive manner. Innocent people calmly explain their innocence, they don’t try to assert their innocence by attacking others. They don’t use their employer to effectly get an investigation shut down before it has even started.

            It isn’t a coincidence that two of Wolff’s adversaries find themselves being attacked by the media right now…

      2. Coventry Climax
        4th March 2024, 23:45

        Well, ofcourse there’s no relation between all of it, unless it’s that all are guilty of whatever it suits whomever to charge them with, without any evidence yet.
        Or you’re innocent, even with evidence, as long as you’ve spent the illegally obtained money to instate your own supreme court…

    3. Yes, it is clear by now that all cases are politically driven. Liberty has finally achieved it’s goal; the sport is no more and it has become a circus soap. Time for me to check out. Bye

  2. I am starting to feel left out. Can I be investigated too?

    1. Sure. Just touch something or someone and you’re all set.

    2. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
      4th March 2024, 19:56

      Start your female work colleagues

    3. Coventry Climax
      4th March 2024, 23:38

      Absolutely magnificent comment!
      Gave me something to laugh at, and that’s been a while with respect to F1.

    4. Seriously. I won’t be satisfied until we have more whistle blowers than races

      1. Yellow Baron
        5th March 2024, 2:27

        Looking forward to the masi nda and also abudhabi 2021 whistle blowers

  3. It’s one of those years were it’s more action packed in the paddock than on the track.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better !

    2. F1 the soap opera.

      1. Yellow Baron
        5th March 2024, 2:30

        Turns out that’s one of the main things that keeps people interested/core drawing point or foundation of the sport. Second is the engineering competition. Third and absolutely least is the racing and sport.

        F1 is a glorified reality series that parades as a sporting racing series while actually being an exhibition of an engineering competition.

        1. Yeah quite true, maybe the order depends on how competitive the field is. But I don’t disagree and I kind of find it fascinating. Things are getting out of hand now though – but I think giving the FOM so much power is definitely back-firing and it won’t be long before manufacturer’s like Audi and Ford will have second thoughts about joining this freakshow!

    3. It’s almost as if F1 is a multi-billion dollar entertainment product, run by a media organisation.

    4. Jockey Ewing
      4th March 2024, 22:42

      Mmm how DTS will depict the team principals and other higher personell around the sport if they get caught in some shady activity? Or above a certain level of prominence portraying them sporting some tools suitable for a witch, or witch doctor, like crystal orbs, animal foot pendants (and billowing smoke of some vivid color as the ambience) is absolutely not allowed for DTS? Would be funny otoh.

    5. WWE comes to mind.

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    4th March 2024, 18:09

    All that’s left is for Masi to surface as the independent barrister used by Red Bull.

    1. @freelittlebirds :D
      The plot lines are now more confusing than Lost.

    2. Fun, although I don’t like the implication that he was purposely helping red bull, he just wanted a green flag finish of the championship, which as it was favoured verstappen; he previously favoured hamilton too, for example the 29 times cutting the track with no penalty in bahrein.

    3. Having the Massive back would be good fun. He was the beginning of this insane level of cautious, but even The Massive isn’t as dainty as this new race director who throws red flags for things that literally include a tiny bit of gravel and the edge of a wheel poking slightly beyond the edge of a service road barrier.

      1. caution* (thanks autoincorrect)

  5. I’m surprised this matter (which I never thought could’ve happened) suddenly came up now after nearly a year since the relevant race rather than shortly afterwards.

    1. Agree. Why did the whistleblower wait so long? So many questions, most will go unanswered.
      Whatever is going on, its clearly going to be a bizarre year. More action off the track than on it.

      1. JackL, there were reports that the FIA Ethics Committee already had it’s hands full with a different formal complaint of misconduct raised against Sulayem in the first half of 2023.

        Midway through 2023, the Ethics Committee eventually decided to not proceed with further investigations into Sulayem’s conduct, although that was reportedly a split decision. Not long after that, one of the members of the committee is reported as having resigned in protest at the decision to drop that investigation into Sulayem, which then meant that the Ethics Committee was technically short of staff.

        1. That’s a big anon if true…

        2. really? Wow, if true. And yeah Sulayem has been a bit of a mess so far.

    2. @jerejj Suspect that this has been going on a while and someone figured this is a ‘good time to bury bad news.’

      Wouldn’t be surprised if more bad news was announced whilst the Horner news is still in people’s minds as a distraction.

      1. Yellow Baron
        5th March 2024, 2:33

        This ethics committee how long has it been in operation?

  6. I definitely smell the stench of a Wolff rat, especially here & in the Horner case.

    He hasn’t been happy since Sulayem took over because he wouldn’t turn a blind eye to his corrupt deals and plant employees like Todt did. Masi was NDI’d up to his eyeballs to ensure he wouldn’t spill the beans. He is a thorn in his side because he cannot be bought.

    Then he got himself his very own F1 plant when his wife got a top job within F1. It was only a few months ago Wolff had to hide behind his wife in order to make fresh reason to investigate his inside dealings disappear, abusing his wife’s F1 connections to use the F1 teams to apply pressure with identically worded statements evidently given to them with instructions to post them by F1 HQ.

    Just go ahead and rename it WolfF1 already…

    1. Right. Wolff wanted Alonso’s penalty to be dropped so that George would finish the race in 4th rather than in 3rd….Great logic there.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        4th March 2024, 18:54

        Don’t dissuade him – he’s amped!

      2. That rule is a joke, has been since the day it was introduced. I agree with them not being allowed to touch the car, however the jack touching the car, especially the front jack, shouldn’t constitute working on the car. All it takes is for the driver to miss his marks and to go long in the box and he will touch the jack with his wing.

        As for the penalty being dropped, is there actually any proof the MBS wanted it dropped, and that this is not part of an orchestrated smear campaign against him.

        This goes far further than the result of last week’s Grand Prix, it is about getting rid of a FIA president who isn’t willing to be corrupted by a megalomaniac team owner who has a plant within F1 itself and now also wants to control the FIA again like he could with MBS’ predecessor.

    2. Spread your Wolff hate in your bullies clan

    3. How do the Horner allegations fit into that story?

      1. Someone is paying good money to keep this alive, and likely paid good money for a complaint to be made in the first place.

        It isn’t a coincidence Wolff & his lap-dog Brown have been sticking their noses in to the matter.

  7. An investigation into a street race at night involving Fernando Alonso?

    What a novelty…

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      4th March 2024, 18:53

      How does Reversegate sound? I’d prefer Stargate though because it was at night.

    2. Alonso had zero knowledge of either. So, no common denominator in reality. Even if there was, a dataset of two over a 23 year period is not exactly compelling.

  8. Come on guys… lets not creat conspiracy where there is not. I assure you if it was just Mercedes looking to get this man out, it would not even see tbe light of day.
    Ben Sulayem has been very unpopular to say the least and it appears he might be out soon as well.

    1. it appears he might be out soon as well

      Why? The anti-MBS campaign is very much an F1-issue, and to be more precise, it’s led by particular English ‘reporters’/writers, notably at The Telegraph, who for some ‘coincidental’ reason keep ‘finding’ issues whenever prominent F1 interests are upset.

      MBS was elected by the FIA member organizations and enjoys a lot of support. He should stick to his role, to be sure, but let’s not exaggerate the issue.

      1. Whatever the case is, we really need to stop the “it’s the English!” nonsense.

  9. The investigation will be closed simlarly to the previous one including Toto…

  10. Electroball76
    4th March 2024, 20:53

    Ben Sulayem is an anagram of “Le sunbeamy”.
    The Sunbeam Alpine was a 1950s roadster. Alpine is a French F1 team previously known as Mild Seven Renault F1.
    Fernando Alonso drove for Alpine and Renault.
    Nothing suspicious there? But wait!
    Mild Seven is a rival of Camel.
    Camels can be found in Dubai.
    Dubai is also the birthplace of Ben Sulayem..
    Camel sponsored the Lotus 99T driven by Satoru Nakajima.
    Nakajima also drove for Tyrrell.
    Tyrrell would eventually become the Mercedes F1 team.
    Could this all be coincidence? I think not!
    When you add this all up it can mean only one thing..
    Ancient Aliens!
    (or Toto Wolff)

    1. Very aptly put!

    2. Ancient Aliens!
      (or Toto Wolff)

      And the difference is?

    3. You have way too much time on your hands

      1. So does anyone reading Formula 1 news.

    4. So Toto and the camels are in it together? Who would have thunk it?!?

      1. @An Sionnach
        Sounds like a fun cover band, playing a mix of eighties and progressive rock!

    5. At last, one logical voice in this comment section!!

    6. My thoughts exactly! It is staring us in the face

    7. Fantastic post. And the best response to a much a do about nothing story.

  11. Just F1 attempting to rip itself apart again.

  12. 1. If you break the rules and can find video of other teams breaking the rules and not getting penalized, you shouldn’t be penalized.
    2. Why did this guy want the penalty dropped? Financial gain? What was the motive?
    3. Toto sits in his lair, yes he has a dimly lit lair, rubbing his hands together and laughing maniacally as he plots against his foes in F1. Probably has voodoo dolls of them with pins in them.

  13. Liberty is willing to put the integrity of the sport at risk if it means removing anyone who hinders it’s interests.

    1. Exactly, Ben Sulayem has had a Liberty-shaped target on his back since he dared question the wisdom of the rumoured sale of F1 for an absolutely outlandish figure. His comments were very on point, as this poses a risk not only to F1, but also to other affiliated series and the venues as the new owner would certainly try to recoup their investments with higher fees for everything.

      1. That’s precisely why they’re desperate to position David Richards as their strawman in the FIA. Furthermore, MBS has stirred discontent by stating that the FIA isn’t merely a service provider, but the authoritative regulator of the sport, hinting at potential complications in the next Concorde agreement negotiations.

        I’ve been very critical of MBS on this proper forum, though as long as he is giving the power delirious Liberty a reality check then I fully support him.

      2. That decision was also unpopular within the FIA because Sulayem didn’t bother asking anyone within the FIA what they thought and deliberately avoided consulting the FIA’s own legal team by using his own personal social media channels, circumventing the FIA’s own policies on speaking to the media.

        It also doesn’t help that Sulayem has a habit of self-aggrandisement that resulted in him being dishonest with the public. When there was the issue of the FIA having to deal with the lawsuit over the HANS device, Sulayem was claiming that it was a surprise to him when he took on the role of President and then played up his heroic actions in resolving the case quickly.

        Unfortunately, it turns out that the French press subsequently interviewed Todt about some of Sulayem’s claims. Todt was able to prove that, far from being a surprise, Sulayem knew about that case about a year before he took up the office of President as he attended the World Motorsport Council meeting that discussed the case, and was one of the people signing off on the minutes that recorded those discussions. In reality, Sulayem was exaggerating the situation significant to make it seem more dramatic and to make himself look far more important than he actually was.

    2. They’ve already thrown out any form of integrity.

    3. This is exactly what is going on. But they do not risk the integrity of the sport as they do not regard it a sport. To them it is a 100% entertainment franchise. The only thing that counts is increasing shareholder value. Ben certainly is not willing to work towards that target, so there we are…

  14. What on earth is going on? This is complete madness. Chronology of events:

    1. FIAs amateurish investigation of the Wolffs
    2. FOMs ridiculously justified rejection of Andretti.
    3. Hamilton to Ferrari
    4. Horner allegations happen to be made public just after Hamilton – Ferrari deal
    5. (Apparantly not so) independent investigation of the affair demanded by Horner and the malaysian shareholders.
    6. Horner backed by Yooviha family who also suddenly face serious allegations of corruption and the cover up of manslaughter in Malaysia some years ago.
    7. Investigation cleares Horner to the surprise of everyone including Red Bull Austria.
    8. Horner leaks
    9. Very dull race
    10. Ben Sulayem asks Max Verstappen to back Horner.
    11. Jos Verstappen demands Horner’s resignation.
    12. Verstappen to Mercedes rumour
    13. Ben Sulayem interference in race result is made public. A year later.
    To be continued…

    I am completely lost. Everyone is fighting everyone and nothing makes sense anymore.

    It’s FIA vs FOM.
    It’s Red Bull Austria vs Red Bull Malaysia.
    It’s Jos Verstappen vs Horner and Red Bull
    It’s Horner vs Marko.
    It’s Horner and Marko vs Wolff.
    It’s Horner and Wolff vs Sulayem.

    1. Coventry Climax
      4th March 2024, 23:56

      Just wait until after the next american elections, you’ll wish for just F1 ridiculousness again.

      1. I’m A Celebrity – Get Me Into There

        Special White House Season

    2. This is F1 style game of thrones.

      I thought I was following a racing sport.

    3. There’s not much sudden about the controversies surrounding the Yooviha family; their record was one of the reasons people mocked the ‘independent’ investigation to begin with. But on the broader point, it is indeed rather confusing what’s happening at Red Bull. Its clear there is a rift, but it remains very much speculative who is on which side and for what reason.

      The FIA vs FOM saga is a bit simpler. Todt gave away a lot of power that the FIA wants back, and Liberty was very close to initiating a sale process that the FIA called out, complicating and perhaps even ending the scheme. Now the money men are angry, and their puppet is out there declaring a new Concorde Agreement is only a few meetings away… I wouldn’t be so sure.

      1. Spot on !
        There is no way that the Concorde Agreement is only a few meetings away… The beef between FIA and FOM is so widely known that even non-F1 fans are aware of it.

      2. I agree. The FIA vs FOM saga is pretty clear. The money men are angry. After all Liberty never had as objective to make this a great sport, but rather increase the shareholder value of its investment. They don’t care at all about the sport which is so blatantly clear expressed by former team boss Dominicali selling his soul from the get go. Ben is a nuisance to Liberty. So they block expansion plans (Andretti), reverse the scheme when he was investigating Wolff (Ben becomes the subject) and now take it a step further with a whistle blower suddenly appearing 1 year after the fact.

        As to the RedBull saga, after Mateschitz death it was to be expected it would turn into political power play internally. We just don’t know the ins and outs nor composition of opposing groups and their (difference in) objectives. Having a character like Jos walking amidst this can hardly be constructive. Add to that the media nowadays and the confusion is complete. Whereas I have an opinion on the FOM FIA topic, I think it is best to stay away from the RedBull one.

        1. Yes. Best to stay away from all the RedBull furore. It’ll sort itself out without my intervention. My phone’s predictive text suggested “inbreeding” instead of “intervention”. That wouldn’t make the situation any better, either!

      3. Now you seem to be making up stuff altogether – nobody found any evidence that a sale was ever on the table, and even Sulayem never actually claimed that any sort of sale was imminent.

  15. All we need now is a Tesla-esque controvery so we can have a full gamut of investigations. Looking forward to:-

    ‘FIA to launch inquiry into Mercedes AMG Petronas cancellation of 5000 mini wieners from Saudi butchers’. Preliminary statement from officials when asked if any supporting evidence has been found…. “not a sausage”

    1. All we need now is a Tesla-esque controvery so we can have a full gamut of investigations.

      Well, that would solve the wet tyre issues if the cars all failed Tesla style in a bit of rain.

  16. The Week Of The Long Knives

  17. I’ve read this article three or four times and I have failed to see where Ben Sulayem was involved. Not looking to absolve him of anything, but what did he do?

    1. I think he requested that the right thing be done, not because it was Alonso, but because it a the right thing to do. It may not be his place to put his thumb on the scales in such decisions, though, regardless of whether it’s to look for common sense to prevail.

      People may not like him for some reason so the headline has been tailored to this effect. At least he didn’t request some light-touch decision involving Lewis skewering someone be reviewed or he’d be shish kebab!

    2. @kcrossle this article doesn’t explain it well, but the original article that it referenced explains it more clearly.

      The charge is that Sulayem personally called the Vice President of the FIA’s Middle East and North Africa branch, who was at the race as the FIA’s representative, and ordered him to overturn the results. That, however, would breach the FIA’s own statutes and constitute an abuse of office by Sulayem, since senior officers of the FIA are not supposed to influence the stewards panel or instruct them on what decision they should come to.

      1. Coventry Climax
        5th March 2024, 8:43

        Playing it ‘by the rules’, would likely have been to sack the ‘bad decision makers’ afterwards.
        What’s the difference?

        1. Arg. I accidentally selected the report button instead of reply. Sorry about that. Those buttons are so small and my fingers are not!

          Regarding the issue, the article describes possible meanings for an Italian word that Sulayem allegedly used when he allegedly directly contacted an official about the penalty. He shouldn’t have tried to influence the decision like this even if he meant well. The BBC article states the word means to require or expect. I checked the meaning and got demand or expect. It still depends on the context of what was said if the whistleblower’s statement is true. The basis of the story isn’t a direct quote from Sulayem, but what was said by a whistleblower, so there’s both the potential for some of its meaning to be lost in translation as well as Chinese whispers as to what was said… if anything was said at all.

          My question is whether the compliance report should have been seen by BBC Sport or any of the press. I don’t know the answer to this. If it should have remained internal pending an investigation, then why was it leaked? Whatever about this, Sulayem should be granted the right to a fair hearing the same as anyone else. If it should not have been leaked, then perhaps someone is trying to make this bigger than needs be to attack the man. This kind of thing makes me sad, but it can happen. On the other hand, it could be a steward frustrated with interference, but it’s odd there’s not a better example of this if that is the case.

          1. Arg. I accidentally selected the report button instead of reply. Sorry about that. Those buttons are so small and my fingers are not!

            It’s not about your fingers. It’s an issue of bad design. Bad user interface design, and bad user experience design.
            These two buttons appear hierarchically identical, as if people have the need to report a comment as often as they want to reply to a comment, and that simply can’t be the case.
            “Report Comment” should be minor action at best, while “Reply” is probably the most important and the most frequent kind of interaction a comment can get.

          2. Coventry Climax
            5th March 2024, 16:11

            No worries, I can handle it. It’s not like F1; 12 penalty points and you’re out for a month, haha.

            My reaction wasn’t whether Sulayem is guilty as charged or not, it’s that if he’s done as charged, it was wrong, even if there’s precedents.
            So yes, he deserves a ‘fair trail’, like anyone else. Hopefully for you too, the last three sentences of that second paragraph of yours, that start with ‘If it should not have been leaked..’, apply to Horner in the exact same way.

  18. Lots of action going on in F1. Too bad none of it is engineering related. Going to need a scandal a week to keep interest in the sport alive this season.

  19. All things considered, Masi did a good job, and the rules stated that the race director’s decision was final. His firing was a sop to Lewis and Toto and demonstrates a critical character flaw on both their parts.

    1. Masi’s decision was horrendous. A race involves all of the cars on the track. They are all racing which is why this past weekend TSU and RIC were arguing over 15th place. Masi’s decision favored 1 driver over the entire field. Many drivers pitted with VER at the end of the race to get fresh tires and improve their finishing position. The field was only unlapped to allow VER to be behind HAM. If this was done at any other race, it would be protested by all of the teams. You either leave the cars in position or you unlap all of the cars.

      1. Coventry Climax
        5th March 2024, 16:20

        Regardless whether Masi was right, cars unlapping is an anomaly in itself.
        You do a bad race and get lapped by a couple of cars. Then someone parks it in the barriers or whatever, maybe even your team mate, and you get to unlap yourself? Why? Second chances? Whatfor? Within a couple of laps afterracing resumed, the same bad car/driver combination is lapped again, but at least he/she’s been allowed to be in the way of faster cars one extra time, as a bonus for what?
        Utterly pointless rule.

        1. I *think* the rationale was to avoid the leaders being shuffled in with lapped cars, giving an advantage or disadvantage at the restart, thus spoiling the leaders’ race. I can understand the idea but don’t really like it.

        2. I agree. It would be good to use the safety car less. Lapped cars should be left lapped. This will leave other problems to solve, like whether slower cars at the front might be more likely to cause a crash if they’re not sent back. It might not matter that much that some drivers are disadvantaged by being separated from their pack by a backmarker. I’d suggest that the cars in the points positions be allowed past lapped cars. This would mean less mucking about. Masi might have been onto something. In his case the race director’s decision was final according to the rules; he came up with a better solution on the fly… and was fired anyway. Thanks, Toto and Lewis…

      2. The field was only unlapped to allow VER to be behind HAM.

        That’s ascribing a motivation to it for which there is no evidence.

        As the report indicates, Masi was overwhelmed, and rather than telling the safety car to slow down – counter intuitive since it’s something drivers and teams constantly and incessantly complain about – to give the process the needed time, he panicked and rushed things, ending up with what his only real failure of the day; the botched unlapping.

        It was right that he was replaced, but it’s not because there was some nefarious scheme. He was just not good enough for the job.

    2. If he did such a great job , why was he fired?

      1. Toto and Lewis wanted a scalp. Thought they were all about mental health and being nice to people, or that’s just what they say…

  20. That decision was right.
    AM made allegations and there were precedents.
    Whats this all about?

    1. Coventry Climax
      5th March 2024, 8:48

      Since when is it again, that “But they did it too” cuts cake in any court?
      It would even invalidate all rules changes, as it was all legal before.

      1. And for that reason it’d be right that 10 drivers break a rule and only 1 gets punished? Not to me.

        1. Coventry Climax
          5th March 2024, 16:22

          That’s not what I’m saying and you know it.

      2. Especially as, unlike in court, there’s evidence of the other crimes too here.

        1. Coventry Climax
          5th March 2024, 16:27

          Like in court, actions committed before they were deemed illegal are not considere punishable crimes.
          Do it after the law has been implemented that makes the action illegal, and there’s a chance you get caught.
          Maybe some do it, but don’t get caught.
          Then you do it, get caught, and claim you’re innocent because others did it too.
          It just doesn’t work that way, buddy. Unless your name is Trump, ofcourse, but then he’s above the law anyway.

  21. Anything that calls into question the ethics of FIA and Formula 1 is a good thing, and long overdue.

    1. Furthermore there needs to be a wholesale investigation into the lot, financing, relationships between teams, and the constant moving of staff between regulators and teams.

      It all reeks of corruption from top to bottom.

      1. It all reeks of corruption from top to bottom.

        It’s called “private enterprise” – of course it is all about self-benefit. Money and power…
        At least the FIA is involved for other reasons beyond those two. They’ve got all automotive manufacturers and many other organisations to answer to – not just the few playing car racing games in F1.
        Liberty and the teams, on the other hand…. Well, they’ve created a collusion and are now even excluding others from joining their gang.

      2. Coventry Climax
        5th March 2024, 8:44

        If you just percieve a ‘reek’, you’re in need of a massive nose operation. ;-)

  22. Yep, that was worth a good chuckle. Now give me more, I’d love to see Brown and Wolff eating their own foot as well

  23. Also not buying that Sully called the stewards because he wanted to make sure the right decision was made. Come on man, who’s buying that. This guy cares so much, he calls the stewards to make sure every penalty is the right decision. There was something more to this and I am going to guess it involved gambling.

  24. OK, this will be a very wild guess from my side.

    The Arabians have shows interest in buying F1 rights from Liberty. Liberty denied the offer.
    If the biggest announced and most expensive race on the calendar to be held in the USA will be disrupted because of the FIA cancelling the race last minute this would have a impact on F1 in the USA and F1 might once more dissappear from the USA.
    Without interest in the USA Liberty might as well sell the TV rights to the Arabians who are ready to host an additional 3 races in the middle east id the USA lost its interest in F1.

  25. “a whistleblower made the claim”

    Seems to be a lot of those with obvious agendas in F1 recently … and it all seems to have started since Toto was put under the microscope for his dodgy mafiosa style dealings

    Very suspicious.

Comments are closed.