Lewis Hamilton Jewelry Ban, Miami GP Grievances, Red Bull-AM Debate Could Trigger F1 Domino-Effect to FIA Exit

Published 05/22/2022, 7:10 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – New FIA President Press Conference – Paris, France – December 17, 2021 New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem during the press conference REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been following Formula 1, or how much you know about it – we’ve all felt frustrated due to poor decisions in the sport taken by the FIA at some point.

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F1 is one of the most technologically advanced motorsports in the world. And with it comes advanced rules and regulations, which may lead to controversies or misjudgments from race directors.

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The FIA – the regulatory body of F1 handles all of this. However, the 2021 Abu Dhabi Prix proved to be one of the most highly talked about races, not because of the racing, but because of the controversial decisions. As a result, changes were imminent to the regulatory body, and in came Mohammed bin Sulayem, who was appointed as the president of FIA for 2022.

He immediately reshuffled the positions in the organization and tried to bring clarity in terms of regulations to the sport. Things, however, have taken a turn in recent months, as both F1 and the drivers are not happy with some decisions taken by the FIA.

And now, BBC writer Andrew Benson claims F1 is planning to reduce the FIA’s involvement in the sport.

F1 looking to reduce FIA’s involvement

The FIA’s new tenure has not gone to plan so far. From Lewis Hamilton’s jewelry ban protest and Fernando Alonso accusing the FIA of being inconsistent to Red Bull questioning the FIA’s decision in regards to Aston Martin’s new upgrades, things have not been smooth sailing for F1’s governing body.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton wearing multiple jewelries during the Miami GP press conference. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

Andrew Benson revealed F1 is looking to decrease FIA’s participation. Speaking in the BBC’s chequered flag podcast, he said, “There are a lot of what appeared to be isolated examples, which all come back to the same general picture; dissatisfaction with the FIA is running Formula 1.”

“F1 are actively looking behind the scenes at ways they can kind of sideline the FIA from running Formula 1 in any practical way.”

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He also conveyed that the drivers feel the FIA are not listening to their requests. “You are (The FIA) doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons, you should be looking at the things that matter,” Benson added.

It will certainly be interesting to see what the future hold for both the FIA and Formula 1. For now, however, FIA’s decisions have not gone down well in the F1 camp.

Can F1 survive without FIA?

Immediately after hearing this, the question that pops up is whether F1 can carry on without the FIA or not. Andrew Benson revealed that F1 could have to change their name if they decide to remove the governing body.

He added, “The FIA owns the Formula 1 championship. Let’s be honest, the Formula 1 have commercial rights, but they are only leased from the FIA. So it will be very hard to remove the FIA altogether. But, if you break away from them, you can’t use their championship titles. So, you would have to call Formula 1 something else at that point, couldn’t be Formula 1.”

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“Think people have threatened that in the past. But from what I’m told F1 are looking at, can we find a way to remove the FIA into a ceremonial role? So they are still there. Bin Sulayem can still turn up to races and be the FIA president and everything.”

“But in actual fact they don’t have any active involvement in running of the sport at all. F1 will do all of that would be the plan. Whether it gets to the point, I don’t know, but is certainly going around in the background.”

DIVE DEEPER

Report: F1 Drivers & Teams Oppose Ben Sulayem’s Recent Actions as ‘Senior Figures’ Consider Removing FIA Altogether

about 2 months ago

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The battle between the two could continue for a while. The drivers and the teams on one end are not happy, while F1 is also not satisfied with the FIA’s non-approval of 6 sprint races for next season. If things continue going in this direction, they could well take an action against the FIA. And it will prove to have a seismic effect on the sport, without a doubt.

Should F1 part ways with the FIA? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Rahul Madhavan

377 articles

Rahul Madhavan is a Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Bachelor's degree in business administration, he is pursuing his love for sports in the form of writing. Rahul is an avid McLaren fan, who also enjoys writing about soccer.

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