Formula 1 Racing

FIA and FOM draw line under tensions with “new plan” for F1 · RaceFans

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Formula 1’s commercial rights holder and governing body are seeking to put recent disagreements behind them as they collaborate on a new plan for the series.

The FIA and FOM are working on a new strategy for the future of the sport following discussions between the governing body’s president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“The FIA Formula 1 world championship has never been so strong and is growing globally and the FIA and Formula 1 are committed to delivering the best outcomes for the whole sport,” said the governing body in a statement supplied to RaceFans.

“To that end, both parties are developing a new strategic plan that will allow us to seize the opportunities and further enhance the potential for F1 in the years ahead.”

The two key organisations in the administration of F1 have clashed over the past 18 months on a number of matters including comments made by Ben Sulayem, the number of teams allowed in the championship and other issues.

Ben Sulayem angered FOM in January last year by describing claims the F1 business was worth $20 billion (£16.16bn) as “inflated”. FOM wrote to the FIA in response calling his comments “unacceptable”.

At the same time the FIA invited applications from new teams wishing to enter F1. It approved one of the four bids, submitted by American racing team Andretti and backed by General Motors’ Cadillac brand, last October. But FOM insisted there was no need to expand the grid beyond the current 10 teams and claimed Andretti’s arrival would not add to the value of the series.

In December the FIA began, then quickly dropped, an investigation into an alleged conflict of interest involving an FOM employee and their spouse. The individuals involved were later identified as Formula 1 Academy CEO Susie Wolff and her husband, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. The former later announced she has brought legal action against the FIA in France over its investigation.

The latter development occured after Ben Sulayem was investigated by the governing body’s ethics division over alleged interference on two occasions during last year’s world championship. He was cleared on both counts, including over a claim he attempted to block the approval of the Las Vegas Strip Circuit during F1’s showpiece new race weekend.

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