F1’s ‘meteorite shower’ of scandals continues apace

Thu, 21 March 2024, 09:00

Mar.21 (GMM) Formula 1 continues to be buried under an off-track “meteorite shower of accusations” and “one problem after another”, according to observers of the latest developments.

In January, Toto Wolff warned that his wife Susie – who now works for the new female series F1 Academy – would go “all the way in court” following accusations by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem that they were exchanging confidential information.

Susie now confirms in a statement that she has “personally filed a criminal complaint” against the F1’s governing body in the French courts.

“F1 (is) under a meteorite shower of accusations right now,” 1996 world champion Damon Hill observed on X, with Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper adding that the sport is dealing with “one problem after another”.

Indeed, on top of the ongoing Christian Horner scandal and power struggle at Red Bull, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem was also facing charges that he improperly intervened in a stewards decision in 2023 and tried to block homologation of the new Las Vegas GP layout.

The FIA’s ethics committee has now cleared its president of wrongdoing, confirming that there was “no evidence to substantiate (the) allegations”.

Insiders believe the clashes between F1’s Liberty Media-controlled commercial rights holder and the Ben Sulayem-led FIA set the stage for complex financial negotiations over the next Concorde Agreement.

“At the end of the day, we’re in the same boat,” Ben Sulayem said after publication of the ethics committee’s findings.

“We may have different missions, but we cannot let the sport sink.”

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