Feb.6 - The president of F1's governing body has become a Donald Trump or Elon Musk-like character.

That is the view of one unnamed Formula 1 boss, as speculation of a growing rift between Mohammed Ben Sulayem and the team principals grows.

The FIA boss was even threatened with legal consequences by F1 owner Liberty Media recently over the prospective $20 billion sale of the sport's rights to Saudi Arabia.

FIA slams 'baseless' F1 rumours as budget cap saga is delayed

Max Verstappen talks with Mohammed ben Sulayem, FIA President, in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the 2022 F1 Grand Prix of Austria

Even the F1 drivers are becoming outspoken on their new ban against making political gestures or speech in the context of a race weekend.

"Personally, I don't really like talking about political topics," said world champion Max Verstappen. "First of all you have to make sure you know all the facts.

"But I don't think we should be banned from expressing our opinion. Some will speak more, some less, but it was not necessary to ban it," he insisted.

It has even been rumoured that Sebastian Vettel lost his seat at Aston Martin, and in effect his place in Formula 1, over his political stances.

"I hope the others continue to have the courage to stand up for their opinions," the quadruple world champion told TZ newspaper when asked about Ben Sulayem's ban.

When asked what would have happened if he had stayed on the grid in 2023, the German smiled: "There might have been a little bit of trouble.

"But I do think it's absolutely important to take a stance on some issues, as we've seen more and more in recent years.

"I'm no longer there, so of course I can say a lot more now."

In reality, however, the situation between Ben Sulayem, the teams and F1 is a much thornier topic - and a rumoured big push to see him removed from office may now be in play.

When asked by Sport Bild, neither the FIA as a body or Ben Sulayem would comment on the rumoured dispute.

But one unnamed team boss told the German magazine: "You never know when something will happen now, and what the extent of it will be.

"But basically nothing surprises us anymore," he added. "He's like Donald Trump or Elon Musk - in an important position, but uncontrollable."

And with Formula 1 thriving in popularity, there are concerns about that.

"Where the president used to only cause irritation, now he causes damage," the unnamed boss concluded.

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10 F1 Fan comments on “Unnamed F1 boss speaks out as pressure mounts on President Ben Sulayem

  1. CanadianEh

    The un-named "F1 team boss" is in disagreement with a ban on personal expression of political views. And, wants Ben gone. "I disagree with your view and direction, so I will destroy you."

    The article suggests other F1 team-bosses are ob-board by adding: "In reality, however, the situation between Ben Sulayem, the teams and F1 is a much thornier topic - and a rumoured big push to see him removed from office may now be in play."

    This is a tactic used by lousy journo's to claim a whole body of people is against "x" - but doesn't name them. An extraordinary claim, without extraordinary evidence. No - it is allegedly a SINGLE F1 boss and two drivers whinging about Ben. Not all of them.

    And sometimes, just sometimes, it's OK to say "no". And for extremely rich people, "No" is a word they don't want to hear.

  2. shroppyfly

    Whichever/whatever/whoever, there seems to be a problem , but i agree Drivers/Team managers and there views on Binman are irrelevant(if i understand you correctly), its the Nations Motorsport clubs around the world that put him in power as I understand it, so it needs, if that's the will, of FIA Member Clubs to pop in a vote of no confidence in his presidency then possibly others follow and take it from there .that's democracy, which i'm sure Binman understands, ignores but understands .

  3. Andy

    Other sites have quoted the following:
    "the FIA's decision to prohibit "personal, religious and political statements" without written consent"
    Does this mean post-race press conferences need written consent before a driver can speak make his'personal statement'?
    And Mr. Halliwell being quoted as saying "sport should never be used as a political tool". It always has Christian and always will be.
    Sport is the way nations and individuals in the civilised world make war and fight to see who's best.
    People should have a right to speak their opinions, as long as it's not hate speech etc. F1 is no different.
    Tolerance worldwide has become very intolerant! You can only speak these days if doesn't offend anyone and it's oh so easy to offend everyone it seems! Gone are the days of "I disagree with your opinion but will defend your right to have it and speak it".

    • shroppyfly

      Louise doesnt need her post race statements checked by anyone, we all know the same old crap shell spout after every race, unless for 23 shes going to come up with something new, Im predicting this, So Lewis its now five races into the season and George has beat you in every one, Lewis, well first I wanna say what a great crowd, here/wherever is always my favourite place to come, yeah its the weather,Well the new strategist made a mistake or my dogs been ill, its, someones fault but Definitely not mine, cos My Dad says i'm the best driver still, down thumbs to the right please

  4. ReallyOldRacer

    I've thought about this. The FIA has been around since 1904 and is the recognized international governing body over more than 200 sanctioning organizations. F1 is one of those organizations. The boys club is a moot point. They can protest Big Ben and possibly get some results. Beyond that F1 can withdraw from FIA guidance and try to go it alone. It's been tried before, and failed. Rather like the student body protesting school rules. Tough noogies, guys.

  5. shroppyfly

    Anyone who follows Golf... not me for one but anyway , seems the Saudi $$ are upsetting the PGA guys with there championships, , im sure the courts will sort it out , now who else can they upset..Come to my embassy , we will talk about things, at least Bernie just said , My Motorhome Now lol

  6. Blo

    Liberty, F1, the major manufacturers and teams have a potential huge problem. Bin man does not represent the FIA he represents the Arab rulers with their medieval laws but applied to a sport at the cutting edge of technology.
    Liberty in their rush for profits have failed to recognise the risk from the Arab world. If the FIA cannot ditch bin man there is a big risk that F1 will ditch the FIA.
    I think we are nearing the end of F1 as we know it. This is the FIA under bin man. Banned men’s jewellery,
    Banned free speech, misogyny, anti LGBTQ’s, anti inclusive, autocratic president, interferes with commercial matters not in his remit to the benefit of his Arab masters totally unrepentant for any of his actions.


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