In recent weeks, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has not really made himself popular. Some questionable statements caused the F1 bosses to rear up on their hind legs and Ben Sulayem also seems to have won over the F1 teams.
Recently, misogynistic statements that Mohammed Ben Sulayem made more than twenty years ago were brought up again. Despite the fact that it was about very ‘old statements’, according to insiders from the motorsport world, you would expect an FIA chairman to come up with some form of apology, but none came. A spokesman for the FIA did respond after commotion arose around the conscious statements (Read: FIA: Sexist comments Mohammed Ben Sulayem from 2001 do not reflect the convictions of our chairman).
In addition, Mohammed Ben Sulayem also made some statements about the bid of more than $ 20 billion that was made from Saudi Arabia for Formula 1. Ben Sulayem insinuated that the offer was bad for the sport and should first be checked with the FIA, which is not true because Liberty Media is the commercial rights holder of Formula 1 (Read: FIA chairman lashes out after a bid of 20 billion for buy the F1: Interest of the sport is more important than money!).
The FIA chairman also seems to have lost all credit with the F1 teams. For example, an F1 team boss told the BBC, on condition of guaranteed anonymity, that “Everyone wants him gone, that’s clearly a general position that has been taken.”
So it looks like Mohammed Ben Sulayem can no longer afford a misstep, a big contrast to his predecessor Jean Todt, who was the figurative rock in the surf as FIA president for years. In fact, there are calls for a so-called ‘motion of no confidence’ to be submitted, but the question is whether the statutes of the FIA include that a reigning FIA chairman can be pushed aside during his term of office .