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F1 would end up ‘like WWF’ without the right governance – Ben Sulayem · RaceFans

The FIA should “be careful” to make sure it regulates Formula 1 appropriately and never permit the game to develop into “like WWF”, says its president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

The governing physique has confronted criticism over its administration of the championship following a sequence of controversies. At occasions there have been tensions between the FIA’s enforcement of its guidelines and F1’s want to maximise the spectacle.

The conclusion of the 2021 season was tainted by a row over former FIA race director Michael Masi’s failure to comply with the foundations in the course of the finale, which influenced the end result of the championship and led to his departure from the organisation. Other rows erupted throughout 2022 over selections taken throughout races, together with the delayed begin to the Monaco Grand Prix, the failure to restart the Italian Grand Prix after a Safety Car deployment and the foundations confusion which overshadowed this 12 months’s championship-decider in Japan.

Ben Sulayem mentioned administering F1 is at all times difficult and controversy is an inevitable a part of it, however pressured the FIA should implement the sequence’ guidelines appropriately.

“Formula 1, it is the pinnacle,” he mentioned in a press convention on the FIA Gala yesterday. “Always you will find controversy in it, you will find the challenge, the teams are up to the limit there. They always want to find the way to go. So it is a challenging… every hour is challenging there.

“And it’s healthy. It’s going so good. But you see us, as the FIA, we should also be careful. There is the side of the money, but the governance has to be right also.”

He drew a comparability to World Wrestling Entertainment, previously often called the World Wrestling Federation. “You cannot just have it without the rules,” he mentioned. “You cannot have it without amending it, updating it.

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“What would you end up with? Like wrestling? Like WWF, which has no governance? No, the governance has to be there.”

Ben Sulayem described his first 12 months accountable for the federation has been gratifying however difficult. “I knew there must be a big challenge in the FIA, improving it, updating it to the new era,” he mentioned. “Now it’s like a telephone, if you don’t update your telephone, you will be behind. Definitely the teams, the technology is going ahead and ahead and we have to be not just up to that, but ahead of that.

“And the regulations, the finance – and the FIA inherited some of the issues from before – and you cannot take decisions without going, digging in and getting all the facts and then going further. One year has been a challenge – I’m not talking about Formula 1 – I’m talking as the FIA as a whole.”

However he pressured that the complexity of motor racing will at all times make it tougher to manage than many different sports activities.

“The FIA is complex, I say. Why? Because if you look at another game, like football, I mean look at the regulations there. […] There is one goal size, there is one size of a football and there everybody is watching.

“But look at the FIA. I mean, you look at karting, imagine the regulations that goes into it. Imagine all the disciplines, forget Formula 1, go to rallying and others. So every day is a challenge, but an enjoyable challenge.”

During the night’s trophy presentation ceremony Ben Sulayem addressed the foundations confusion at Suzuka this 12 months, insisting the FIA had been incorrectly blamed for the situation.

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