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F1 news

FIA president investigation verdict delivered

After allegations were made against FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the verdict into the investigation has been revealed.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem
To news overview © XPBimages

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been cleared after an independent investigation found “no evidence of interference” in two separate incidents last year.

Recent allegations claimed that Ben Sulayem had attempted to interfere with the results of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last year to reverse a penalty issued to Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

Alonso was issued a 10-second time penalty for serving an in-race penalty incorrectly before the decision was later changed, reinstating the Spaniard to the podium.

Another allegation made against the FIA president stated that he attempted to obstruct the track certification process for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which held its first race around the Strip Circuit last year.

The FIA Compliance Department, which was supported by external advisors, conducted an investigation into the claims.

A statement from the FIA has stated that “the Ethics Committee were unanimous in their determination that there was no evidence to substantiate allegations of interference of any kind” involving the president.

The allegations have hung over the start of the 2024 F1 season, but on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix, Ben Sulayem has been acquitted.

The statement added: “Concerns over potential interference were brought to the attention of the FIA Compliance Officer and subsequently passed to the FIA Ethics Committee under Article 32.2.5 of the FIA Statutes.

“There followed a robust and wide-ranging independent review spanning 30 days, which included interviews with 11 witnesses. Allegations against the FIA President were unsubstantiated and strong evidence beyond any reasonable doubt was presented to support the determination of the FIA Ethics Committee.

“The FIA President was cleared of any wrongdoing regarding allegations (i) to have interfered with the Stewards’ decision to reverse an additional penalty on Car 14 following a challenge from the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 and (ii) to have attempted to interfere with the track certification process for the Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023. The certification was completed and approved in due time.

“The President's complete co-operation, transparency, and compliance throughout the process during this investigation was greatly appreciated.”

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