Formula 1 accuses FIA president of commercial interference

Formula 1, controlled by Liberty Media, has accused FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem of interfering with its commercial rights by publicly questioning a $20 billion valuation of the sport.

Ben Sulayem, elected in 2021 to the top job on Formula 1’s governing body, took to Twitter on Monday (23) after Bloomberg reported that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) explored an offer for more than than that value.

“As the guardians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organisation, is cautious about the allegedly inflated $20 billion prices placed on F1,” said Ben Sulayem on his personal account. “Any potential buyer is advised to use common sense, consider the greater good of the sport and come up with a clear, sustainable plan – not just big money.”

He suggested the FIA ​​had a duty to consider the possible negative impact on fans and promoters, who might have to pay more.

The comments followed his support this month for Michael Andretti’s offer to enter the 11th team on the grid, a move most existing teams resist because of revenue dilution.

The backlash also fuels the sense of a looming turf war between the governing body of the sport and the commercial rights holder, eager to develop an expanding and increasingly popular championship in new directions.

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Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News