FIA President cleared of race meddling after 30-day Saudi Arabian GP 2023 investigation

Amidst the ‘now-playing’ soap opera at Red Bull Racing, the investigation of the FIA President for allegedly misusing his power in two major events last year was almost overshadowed by Christian Horner’s ‘sexting’ turmoil.

However, the matter of the FIA President has now resurfaced back into the F1 world with a ‘major’ turning point.

Saudi Arabian GP 2023 investigation finds the FIA President not guilty

Earlier last month, it was reported that the FIA’s Compliance Department was investigating its own President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem for claims made against him about two different events in Formula 1 last year.

The first accusation was that he tried to overturn the stewards’ decision to penalize Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP. The second suggested that he tried to misuse his power to disapprove of the track certification of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Fast forward to this week, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, it was announced by the FIA Ethics Committee that the investigation, which took 30 days and interviews with 11 witnesses to complete, proved Ben Sulayem of being innocent and that he was cleared from all accusations of ‘race meddling’ and ‘track disapproving’.

The FIA quoted the investigation’s final finding in an official statement as follows: “After reviewing the results of the inquiries, the Ethics Committee were unanimous in their determination that there was no evidence to substantiate allegations of interference of any kind involving the FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.”

“Allegations against the FIA president were unsubstantiated and strong evidence beyond any reasonable doubt was presented to support the determination of the FIA Ethics Committee,” it read.

Appreciating the FIA President, it concluded, by stating, “The president’s complete cooperation, transparency, and compliance throughout the process during this investigation was greatly appreciated.”

Despite the exact details still being undisclosed, the clearing of yet another powerful figure—this time being the FIA President—in Formula 1 from another ‘cloudy’ investigation has certainly brought out explosive reactions from the F1 fans.

F1 community outraged over FIA President innocent verdict

After the news broke of the FIA president being cleared by the Ethics Committee, the F1 community exploded in an uproar of disgust and hatred towards the FIA authorities. The Formula 1 fans soon took to social media, particularly X, to express their emotions over the matter.

Accusing the FIA President of being ‘two-faced’, one X-user replied to one of the news posts, with the caption, “Right, I am to believe the President suddenly believes in transparency? This guy doesn’t know what the word means.”

In another post about this news, one F1 fan blamed the FIA authorities for doing an ‘inside job’ and commented, “We have cleared ourselves of any wrongdoing.”

Revealing his disappointment over the board, another fan sarcastically commented on X: “Like anybody expected them to actually come to any other conclusion when investigating their own President.”

Subtly putting Horner’s case into the mix, another person questioned the FIA’s integrity and commented with the caption, “So they investigated themselves and found no wrongdoing (again). They need to go.”

Mohammed Ben Sulayem will be most likely be in the stands at Albert Park, and enjoy spectating this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, whether the F1 fans like it or not.

Is the FIA lying about the investigation against its own president? Is this another ‘inside job’ being played by the F1 power bosses? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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