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FIA President says online abuse risks taking F1 'beyond repair'

With abuse of individuals in motorsport on the rise in recent years, Mohammed Ben Sulayem says tackling this scourge is vital to ensure the future of F1.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem
To news overview © FIA

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem says Formula 1 will soon be 'beyond repair' if it does not adequately tackle the rising amount of online abuse of individuals within motorsport.

It was revealed late last year that motorsport's governing body would utilise new AI technology to help stamp out abusive comments on social media across all categories of racing, including F1.

F1 has also introduced a campaign called 'Drive It Out', also aimed at clamping down on social media abuse.

Former F1 driver Nicholas Latifi has also spoken of how he received death threats after his crash in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - an event which set in motion a chain of events that contributed to Max Verstappen winning the race and that year's title at the expense of Lewis Hamilton.

Former F1 Race Director Michael Masi, who presided over the controversial series of events in that race, revealed that he sought mental health support after the abuse he had received online.

Speaking to Associated Press, Ben Sulayem cited the example of a volunteer female race steward who had received death threats aimed at her and her family.

"This is something that I raised my hand about last year because if we don’t have the volunteers, we don’t have a sport," he said.

"This is important for us, this issue is just an attack and if we do not stand up for this, our sport will be beyond repair."

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