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F1 issues explosive warning to FIA over 'inflated valuation' comments

A legal warning was issued by Formula 1 towards the FIA, following the comments made by President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Tensions between Formula 1 and the FIA have increased following the comments made regarding the rumours of Saudi Arabia's interest in the commercial rights. A letter, seen by RacingNews365.com , was sent to all teams from Sacha Woodward, General Counsel and member of the board of directors at F1, and Renee Wild, chief legal and administrative officer of Liberty Media Corporation, following the comments made by President Mohammed Ben Sulayem on social media. It stated that the FIA President's comments "interfere[d] with our [commercial] rights in an unacceptable manner" when he referred to an "alleged inflated price tag of $20 billion" reported.

F1: Ben Sulayem "overstep[ped] the bounds of the FIA's remit"

F1 believes President Ben Sulayem's "overstep[ped] the bounds of both the FIA's remit and its contractual rights", by making comments suggesting potential buyers "apply common sense" rather than "lots of money". The letter stated that: "Formula 1 has the exclusive right to exploit the commercial rights in the FIA Formula One World Championship. "Further, the FIA has given unequivocal undertakings that it will not do anything to prejudice the ownership, management and/or exploitation of those rights. "We consider that those comments, made from the FIA President's official social media account, interfere with our rights in an unacceptable manner." The letter also detailed Formula 1's stance on any potential purchase requiring consultation with the FIA prior to sale: "[Any suggestion or implication that] any potential purchaser of the Formula 1 business is required to consult with the FIA is wrong". It continued: "Any individual or organisation commenting on the value of a listed entity or its subsidiaries, especially claiming or implying possession of inside knowledge while doing so, risks causing substantial damage to the shareholders and investors of that entity, not to mention potential exposure to serious regulatory consequences. "To the degree that these comments damage the value of Liberty Media Corporation, the FIA may be liable as a result." When asked, the FIA declined to comment.

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