FIA President Sulayem Dismisses Any Involvement of Bernie Ecclestone in F1

Published 12/21/2021, 1:00 PM EST
SINGAPORE – SEPTEMBER 19: F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone walks in the paddock during previews for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 19, 2013 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has been one of the most influential people in the sport for a long time. However, after Liberty Media took over the commercial rights of F1 in 2016, he was shown the door. Since then, he has been around as an onlooker rather than a partaker. Recently, a newly elected cabinet has replaced the former members of the FIA.

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SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 22: F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone looks on in the paddock during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 22, 2015 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Mohammad Ben Sulayem succeeds outgoing president Jean Todt. In addition, Fabiana Ecclestone, wife of Bernie Ecclestone, has been elected as the Vice President of sport. She will oversee the South American region. Recently, FIA’s competence and integrity have been under scrutiny after the controversial season finale at Abu Dhabi. The new regime will shoulder the responsibility of getting the sport’s reputation back.

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However, there is the assumption amongst people that Bernie is considering this as a medium to exercise his influence in F1. The incoming FIA president shunned any such possibility in a recent media interaction.

Sulayem denies Bernie’s involvement in F1

Former Rally driver Mohammed ben Sulayem is the first non-European president of the organization and will serve at this post till 2025. Seven vice presidents will support him during his tenure, each overseeing a different region. The inclusion of Fabiana Ecclestone was a part of his pre-election promises.

Bernie Ecclestone has long been an influential figure in the sport, and many credit his wife’s inclusion to that. “When I approached them, I approached them not because of her name, I approached them because of her credibility. And the choice was made on merit,” said Sulayem, dismissing the rumors.

“She has been involved in mobility in the club of Brazil and she has been involved in the F1 of Brazil. So she has the sport and mobility side and she has been in two of the Commissions, so her experience is there,” added the FIA President.

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When he was asked about Bernie Ecclestone’s influence in the decision-making, he dismissed any such possibility. He said that although the 91-year-old has a plethora of experience; they have an able team to deal with affairs.

“I believe we have a good team at the FIA and we have a good World [Motor Sport] Council that we can go back to and ask, and to help grow the sport and F1,” concluded Sulayem as reported by PlanetF1.

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A new era has begun in the sport’s highest authority and there is a lot to take care of. The debacle at the season finale has left many questions on the relationship between FIA and the Mercedes team. Sulayem and his team will need to make some amends to reinstate the faith of teams in the FIA.

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Rituraj Tripathi

234 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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