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F1 Podcast: Is F1 set for more FIA conflict in 2023?

Formula 1 gears up for the first real action of 2023 at the pre-season Bahrain test, but there have been plenty of political machinations and internecine conflict over the winter break. Are relations between the sport's key figures and the FIA set to deteriorate further?

The interminable winter break is almost over, and F1 engines will roar in anger for the first time in 2023 at this week's three-day pre-season test in Bahrain. But while there may have been no on-track F1 action since Max Verstappen eased to victory in Abu Dhabi last November, there has certainly been no shortage of off-track mud-slinging and intrigue to pique the interest of F1 fans the world over. Joining Michael Butterworth to discuss the sport's various political machinations and internecine conflict over the winter is Dieter Rencken, Editorial Director of RacingNews365.com . FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem lately announced that he would be stepping back from day-to-day involvement in F1. With plenty of public criticism having come his way since his accession to the presidency in December 2021, is there a concerted effort from within F1 to force him out of his role? Several key F1 figures also made known their displeasure at the FIA's decision to ban political, religious and personal statements without prior approval. With the FIA having moved to clarify that the offending article would do no such thing, did pressure from drivers and team bosses force the governing body to change its stance? One of the biggest announcements during pre-season was that Ford are set to return to F1 in 2026 in partnership with Red Bull. But why has the drinks-backed squad elected to team up with Ford instead of Porsche or Audi, as was mooted last year? With an unusually large amount of unpainted black bodywork on show from the teams this season, will saving weight be as much of an issue as it was in 2022? And with Frederic Vasseur having taken over the hot seat at Ferrari, how will the Frenchman fare in his new role with the Scuderia? All this and much more on this edition of the RacingNews365.com F1 podcast!

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