FIA president Ben Sulayem steps back from day-to-day running of F1

By Sports Desk February 08, 2023

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has stepped back from overseeing the day-to-day running of Formula One.

Ben Sulayem's stint as FIA president, a role to which he was elected in December 2021, has seen him come into conflict with F1 and its teams on several occasions. 

The 61-year-old was criticised after the FIA delayed an agreement to increase the number of sprint races from three to six for the 2023 season, as well as for the governing body's push to ban drivers from wearing jewellery during races.

In January, Ben Sulayem became embroiled in a row with F1 owners Liberty Media over the competition's commercial rights, while historic sexist comments made by the FIA president were also reported last month.

In a widely reported letter to the 10 F1 teams, Ben Sulayem said he will now focus purely on "strategic matters", with director of single-seater racing Nikolas Tombazis placed in charge of "day-to-day" operations.

An FIA statement said the move from Ben Sulayem – who made regular podium appearances last season – was a planned one.

"The president's manifesto clearly set out this plan before he was elected – it pledged 'the appointment of an FIA CEO to provide an integrated and aligned operation', as well as to 'introduce a revised governance framework' under 'a leadership team focused on transparency, democracy, and growth'," the statement read.

"The FIA president has a wide remit that covers the breadth of global motorsport and mobility, and now that the structural reorganisation in Formula One is complete, this is a natural next step."

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