Formula 1

Mohammed Ben Sulayem Accused Of Trying To Block Formula 1 in Las Vegas

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Formula 1 racetrack in Las Vegas

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, already implicated in a case concerning a penalty imposed on Fernando Alonso, has been accused of trying to block the certification of the Las Vegas circuit.
As if the situation wasn’t confusing enough already, a new front is opening up against Mohammed Ben Sulayem. According to the BBC, the President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has attempted to undermine the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

According to the whistle-blower quoted by the English media (the same one who accused Ben Sulayem of having tried to influence a penalty imposed on Fernando Alonso at the Saudi Arabian GP in 2023), the 62-year-old Emirati passed on instructions for his underlings to find a reason—valid or not—to refuse approval to the Las Vegas circuit.

The layout of the circuit, in the heart of the city and partly on The Strip—the grand avenue of casinos—had been complicated and delayed, with inspection taking place at the last minute. Then the first day’s running was disrupted when Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari dislodged a manhole cover, causing major damage to his single-seater and lengthy delays to the day’s proceedings.

According to the document submitted to the FIA’s ethics committee (which the BBC claims to have read), the president’s request was not directly related to these possible problems. In fact, the people in charge of the inspection had granted the necessary license to the circuit, having been unable to find, in their eyes, any problem that they could have artificially “inflated.”

Such a request could have been motivated by the more or less open war between the FIA and Formula 1 since the Emirati became FIA president in December 2021. The Las Vegas GP was the first in history to be organized and promoted by Formula 1.

This post is originally from L’Équipe