Ben Sulayem under investigation? – Pitpass.com

Ben Sulayem under investigation? - Pitpass.com

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It is understood that FIA president, Mohammed ben Sulayem is under investigation for seeking to interfere with the result of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The claim comes amidst the Christian Horner saga that has put the sport on the front pages of much of the world’s media for the wrong reasons, and days before the 2024 running of the event in Jeddah.

Seemingly an FIA compliance officer has submitted a report to the governing body’s ethics committee alleging that Ben Sulayem intervened following the decision to penalise Fernando Alonso following last year’s race.

In the aftermath of the race the Spaniard, who finished third on the road, was demoted to fourth after being handed a 10s penalty for work carried out on his car whilst he was serving a 5s stop and go during the race.

According to reports, it is alleged that Ben Sulayem contacted the FIA’s vice-president for sport for the Middle East and North Africa, Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, suggesting that the 10s penalty should be dropped, which was subsequently the case.

Having taken part in the podium ceremony, it was announced that Alonso’s trophy should be given to countryman Carlos Sainz, after video footage showed that during the stop the rear jack touched the Aston Martin before the penalty had been served, a breach of Article 54.4c) of the regulations.

Appealing the penalty, Aston Martin was given a right to review, the team citing numerous examples of a jack touching a car whilst serving a penalty and that went unpunished.

The penalty was subsequently reversed and the rule was amended to read: “In this context, touching the car or driver by hand or tools or equipment will all constitute working”.

According to reports a whistle-blower has reported Ben Sulayem for contacting Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and urging him to use his influence in having the penalty revoked.

The Horner saga aside, this is yet another attempt to discredit the FIA president, and, much like the mess at Red Bull appears to have an agenda.

What would probably be best would be for Ben Sulayem to quit the job that certain parties clearly want him out of and then spill the beans on what really happened that night in Abu Dhabi in December 2021.

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