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Lewis Hamilton stated that he has never supported FIA leader Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
F1 Sport

Lewis Hamilton stated that he has never supported FIA leader Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Lewis Hamilton strongly criticizes Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the head of F1’s governing body, questioning his competence and slamming the FIA and F1 for their lack of responsibility.

Before the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, Hamilton denounced the sport’s emphasis on men and commended Susie Wolff, the managing director of the F1 Academy – a racing series consisting entirely of women. He applauded her for speaking out and filing a criminal complaint against the governing body for its handling of an investigation involving a potential conflict of interest.

In December 2023, Wolff and her husband, Toto Wolff, who is the team principal for Mercedes, were under investigation due to a claim that classified information was shared between a Formula One Management (FOM) employee and a member of their team. The F1 Academy, which is overseen by Wolff, is owned by FOM.

The Wolffs refuted the accusations and after two days, the FIA concluded that neither side was at fault. However, they did not provide any reasoning or explanation as to how their investigation was conducted or their final decision reached.

In Melbourne, Hamilton was questioned about Ben Sulayem’s suitability as the FIA president, given that Wolff had recently announced a complaint against him in March. Hamilton firmly stated his support for the British driver.

Hamilton made an outspoken remark that he has never seen the sport address its internal problems. The seven-time champion expressed his disappointment with the handling of these issues and cautioned that it was negatively impacting the image of Formula 1.

The lack of responsibility within this sport, specifically within the FIA, is a major concern. The occurrence of things behind closed doors and the lack of transparency and accountability is worrisome. It is crucial for both fans and the integrity of the sport to have transparency and accountability. How can we trust what is happening in this sport without it?

Susie Wolff and her husband, Mercedes principal Toto Wolff.View image in fullscreen

Last year, Susie Wolff was the subject of an investigation, which she denounced as damaging her and her husband’s reputation. She described it as “insulting” and attributed it to “intimidation and misogyny.” She stated her intention to vigorously defend herself.

Hamilton expressed his immense satisfaction with Susie’s actions, stating that he admires her courage and strong moral principles. He also praised her leadership qualities and emphasized the positive impact of her speaking out in a society where many are silenced.

Hopefully, her current stance will bring about change and have a beneficial effect, particularly for women. The sport is primarily male-dominated, and at a time when the message is that filing a complaint will lead to termination, it is a harmful narrative to present to the world, especially when we are striving for inclusivity in the sport. It is essential that we remain true to our fundamental values.

The sport has received a lot of attention due to issues involving grievances, complaints, and allegations. There have been concerns about transparency and the decision-making process, which have been prominent in the past few weeks.

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On Wednesday, the FIA’s own ethics committee conducted an investigation on Ben Sulayem and found him not guilty of allegations made by a whistleblower. The allegations pertained to his supposed interference in the outcome of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the approval process for the first-ever Las Vegas Grand Prix last year. However, specific details of the allegations and the evidence presented to dispute them were not disclosed.

Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, has been involved in a dispute for two months due to accusations of misconduct made by a female staff member. After conducting an independent investigation, Red Bull’s parent company has dismissed the claims and the employee has been suspended by Red Bull Racing. However, no information regarding the suspension, investigation, evidence, or findings has been disclosed to the public.

The decision made by Wolff to submit a criminal complaint has intensified the investigation on the FIA. The organization will now be required to justify their actions against the Wolffs in a public court in France. They must clarify who began the investigation, where the complaint came from, and the reasoning behind it.

Initially, it seemed that the incident was sparked by one unconfirmed report from the media, which alone was not enough reason to warrant an investigation. However, the remaining nine F1 teams released a joint statement showing their support and denying having filed any grievances against the Wolffs.

The FIA has not yet responded to Hamilton’s remarks or Wolff’s lawsuit.

Source: theguardian.com