A UK House of Lords peer has reportedly criticised FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem for failing to respond to a letter raising concerns over Formula 1 races being held in the Gulf region.
Paul Scriven, a Liberal Democrat life peer, labelled Ben Sulayem “deeply discourteous and unprofessional” in a letter, according to The Independent, after he "completely ignored" a letter sent in March 2022 regarding events staged in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
“We wrote to you in order to raise concerns that are in the public interest, and we expect openness and transparency from the FIA. For the sake of clarity, I still expect to receive a response to our letter," it reportedly states.
Lord Scriven called out the FIA for "facilitating sport washing" alongside 90 European Parliamentarians, adding on social media: "They think the millions of pounds hide them from public scrutiny. They don't and will be held to account."
Lords express concern over political statements stance
The letter sent to the FIA President also outlined their worries about the recent changes to the International Sporting Code, which effectively stops drivers from making political statements without prior consent from the governing body.
In the correspondence, Lord Scriven is reported to have written: "It was with great concern that I learnt of the FIA's decision to suppress F1 drivers' voices from speaking out in what you deem to be political statements, a policy that will serve to shield F1 host countries from scrutiny over injustice.
"It is very clear to me that this policy targets Sir Lewis Hamilton, your most outspoken driver, whose comments on countries with abysmal rights records, particularly Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, would have undoubtedly not been well received by these corrupt and abusive regimes."
In terms of the commercial rights agreements between FIA and F1, grand prix race promoter contracts are the responsibility of Formula 1.
Revealed: 2023 F1 driver salaries
How much money will F1's class of 2023 take home with them? It's easy to assume that the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are the sport's biggest earners, find out which F1 stars take home the biggest pay cheques:
Check out the video below: