FIA and Formula 1 make moves to save motor sport

PARIS-. The Formula 1 and the governing body of motorsports reduced the decibels of their bad relationship when on Wednesday they announced that they had reached an agreement “to commit to a strategic plan for the future of F1.”

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), told The Associated Press at the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month that his relationship with Stefano Domenicali, the F1 boss, “had never been so well†, and that the two were collaborating to strengthen an alliance.

In a statement sent to the AP on Wednesday on behalf of both the FIA ​​and Formula One Management, the two sides announced that they have established a working relationship that will benefit F1.

“The FIA ​​Formula World Championship has never been stronger and is growing globally, and the FIA ​​and Formula 1 are committed to ensuring the best for the entire sport,” the statement read. “In that direction, both parties have drawn up a new strategic plan that will allow us to take advantage of opportunities and consolidate the potential of F1 in the coming years.”

FOM and FIA, specifically Ben Sulayem, have maintained a tense relationship since he was elected president and after the controversial outcome of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi.

The differences have ranged from Ben Sulayem's veto to allowing drivers to wear jewelry inside their cars or make political statements. Ben Sulayem fears this will put the series' finances at risk when he has publicly questioned the estimates.

Additionally, a whistleblower filed two complaints against Ben Sulayem for alleged interference during the 2023 season. The FIA ​​investigated and cleared Ben Sulayem.

But the most contentious point between the parties has been how each has responded to the call from Michael Andretti and General Motors for the F1 grid to be expanded to allow the debut of a US team backed by Cadillac. Ben Sulayem not only opened the process for Andretti to apply to F1, but he gave his approval to Andretti and publicly supported their entry into the series.

FOM and the 10 teams currently competing have been emphatic in their desire that the grid not exceed 10 teams so as not to dilute the distribution of income. FOM has questioned whether Andretti can be competitive at the highest level of motorsports and rejected his application.

The parties did not refer to the Andretti issue in their statement. Andretti and Cadillac representatives met with FOM and FIFA during the Miami Grand Prix.