“Open War” Breaks Out Between F1 & FIA as Fiery “Letter” Exposes Ugly Secrets

Published 02/11/2023, 12:00 PM EST

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via Reuters

Things between F1 and the FIA haven’t been going on the best of notes lately. Most of it is because of FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s comments in the past few days. The crack in the relationship between the two bodies came to the fore after Ben Sulayem openly criticized F1 teams for opposing Mario Andretti’s entry into the competition. It became even more apparent when Liberty Media took exception to his comments on the valuation of a potential sale of F1.

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Bloomberg recently put out a report on Liberty Media rejecting a possible $20 million sale. Ben Sulayem’s response to the development opened up the pandora’s box that snowballed into a legal warning. F1 and Liberty Media’s legal teams put out a letter addressed to the FIA calling Ben Sulayem’s conduct “unacceptable”.

via Reuters

Now, F1 pundit Karun Chandhok has spoken out about the two bodies’ relationship in Sky Sport’s official podcast, “The relationship is on the edge between the FIA and F1.Publicly, last year, they played nice. But we know, from behind the scenes in the paddock, it was all getting fractious. From the letter fired across, it is clear that it’s now open war!”

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While talking on the show, Chandhok also revealed the reason behind the rift.

Karun Chandhok reveals the subject of misunderstanding between F1 and FIA

Speaking further in the podcast, Chandhok talked about the deal between Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley. According to the deal, F1’s management has control over F1’s value by virtue of a 100-year lease that runs until 2110. However, Ben Sulayem probably believes FIA owns those rights, hence the comments.

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via Reuters

Karun continued, “At the time there was the Don King clause which gave the FIA certain veto rights, but that’s no longer valid because F1 has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. So Ben Sulayem is saying ‘we have control’ but F1 are saying ‘no you don’t’. This is going to rumble on.”

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Ted Kravitz, another expert on Sky Sports’ panel pointed to how FIA believes it is for them to choose who joins F1 when it is not. “The FIA inviting applicants to join the grid? It’s not really the FIA’s decision. It’s not the FIA’s gift to invite people to join the F1. At the moment, the teams are saying: ‘No, thank you, Andretti!’,” he said.

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The new season is right around the corner and a tiff between the two ruling bodies is the last thing the sport needs right now.

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Written by:

Nischay Rathore

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Nischay Rathore is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. Being a law graduate, he has worked at the Supreme Court of India as well as the High Court of Delhi. However, due to his adherent love for sports, he has now set out to start his journey into the world of Sports Journalism.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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