Mohammed Ben Sulayem says F1 would be like WWE without the FIA

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

While defending the FIA’s role in Formula 1, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has used a term which was often thrown around in the aftermath of the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

After the controversial finish of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw Lewis Hamilton being denied an almost certain title win, after race director Michael Masi disregarded the rules and created a situation which basically handed the title to Max Verstappen.

This prompted many observers to accuse the FIA of manipulating the race to get the finish that they wanted. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the race, many said Formula 1 seemed more like World Wrestling Entertainment, with predetermined results, than an actual sport.

Surprisingly, at the FIA’s 2022 Prize-Giving Gala, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem used this exact term when explaining why the FIA’s governance is important for Formula 1.

“Formula 1, it is the pinnacle,” Ben Sulayem said.

“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 challenging.


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“Eery hour is challenging there. 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. You cannot just have it without the rules.

“You cannot have it without amending it, updating it. What would you end up with? Like wrestling? Like WWF, which has no governance?

“No, the governance has to be there,” the FIA’s President concluded.

Now, this could either be a very big coincidence, or more likely a confirmation that the FIA was very aware of what was being said in the aftermath Abu Dhabi.

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