BBC: FIA President investigated for asking Alonso to lift sanctions

At the start of a week marked by struggles in Formula 1, Jos Verstappen’s harsh accusations against Christian Horner, BBC It is reported that The FIA’s ethics department is investigating alleged interference by President Mohamed Bin Sulayem. review sanctions at one of the Grand Prix 2023. Always according to British media, We are talking about the elimination of the penalty at Aston Martin, which allowed Alonso to regain third place. at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, almost a year ago.

BBC publishes that, according to a confidant, Ben Sulayem called the FIA ​​vice-president in the Middle East who was vying for an official position, inform him that The Asturias fine had to be cancelled. A decision on the case is not expected for at least four to six weeks.

It’s worth summarizing: Alonso was initially penalized for incorrect positioning on the starting grid (from the next race it was expanded to avoid such violations). He completed five seconds of stop and go. as a penalty, but the FIA ​​stewards, after a complaint from Mercedes, said that one of the team members touched the car during the five seconds of the mandatory stop, so the sanction was not carried out correctly and a second 10 second penalty should have been applied. This penalty turned Alonso’s third place into fourth, and it was this final sanction that was lifted a few hours after the race.

The official FIA document justified the final decision on the basis of various articles of the sporting rules, such as article 54.4, which states that Teams may not “work on the car” during a stop-and-go penalty., although Aston Martin has argued through several precedents that touching a car does not mean working on it. In addition, the revision was a consequence an appeal issued by the Aston Martin team itself, and not a call from the highest echelons of the FIA, according to official documents for this grand prize. In fact, the FIA ​​Vice President for the Middle East (Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa) is not among the signatories of any of the communications made by Commissioners Shetty, Bernoldi, Remmery and Alabdali.

Information tension

information tension around the figure of Mohammed bin Sulayem, The FIA ​​President has been permanent for several months following his election in December 2021. The power struggle between the FIA ​​and FOM (Liberty Media) for Formula 1 included successive collisions between the sports institution and the owner of commercial rights. In addition, from England work Ben Sulayem, who defeated the British candidate in the elections Graham Stoker (former President of Motorsport UK, the British federation and former Vice-President of the FIA ​​under Jean Todt).

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