Since Mohammed ben Sulayem took command of the International Automobile Federation, the discontent of Liberty Media and the Formula 1 teams has been increasing and a split of the category could be brewing.
During Jean Todt’s mandate, both the FIA and Liberty Media, current holder of the commercial rights of the Formula 1have lived in harmony and collaboration.
However, this seems to have changed since Mohammed ben Sulayem succeeded the Frenchman as FIA president last December, coinciding with the controversial end of the championship in Abu Dhabi.
Since then, some decisions of the Dubai have not liked and the BBC reports that shadow movements are beginning to take place with the intention of probing a possible FIA exclusion from Formula 1.
The FIA sends too much
Formula 1 has been a successful and commercially attractive sport for decades, something that has even been enhanced since the arrival of Liberty Media to the category in 2017.
But, even so, it is the FIA who always has the last word in sports matters or in such relevant aspects as the format of the Grand Prix or the calendar.
Situation that in Liberty Media they consider that it is beginning to weigh down their future plansas some of his ideas have been intervened by Sulayem and his team.
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The last one is the intention of Formula 1 (Liberty Media) and the teams of increase sprint format events to six in 2022. This has been voted on and approved by those directly involved, but has yet to be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), the FIA body.
As reported by the BBC, Mohammed ben Sulayem wants to receive more money for sprint events, something that has angered the teams and Formula 1, since an increase in the number of events with this format implies more points in the general classification. And the teams pay their registration each year based on the points obtained in the previous one.
A Formula 1 without FIA
In other words, the president of the FIA intends to receive more money twice for allowing the Grand Prix with a sprint format.
This has made the teams and Formula 1 begin to assess taking power away from the FIA and making something like an independent championship of the federative body, in the style of what is done in American sports or in some relevant motor events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the Dakar Rally, which depend directly on ACO (Automobile Club d L’Ouest) and ASO (Amaury Sport Organization).
This could also influence not only the management and governance of Formula 1but in the weight of the categories dependent on the FIA in a Grand Prix weekend, which is currently accompanied by the Formula 2, Formula 3 or Porsche Supercup, FIA championships.
In any case, it is a complex issue and one that is still far from beginning to take shape, so it will be necessary to keep track of it in the coming months.