Exclusive: According to FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the past 11 months have been challenging yet enjoyable.

As FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem is doing well. He wants to make the sport more inclusive, diverse, and equal worldwide.

In an exclusive interview, Sulayem, who took over in December 2021, said that the past 11 months have been both challenging and enjoyable.


It has been challenging these past eleven months. Although there have been stressful moments, I am overall enjoying it. I needed to learn more about the situation first. “What we see from outside before you go in is different from when you are already in,” he stated at the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022 at Yas Marina Circuit.

When Sulayem began his term, he stated that certain legal and financial issues had been resolved, allowing him to concentrate on growing the sport.

It is claimed that we are a part of an old federation. We should be proud of its age rather than its mental age, even though we are pleased that it is old. Keeping the Federation current was one of my greatest obstacles. I’m happier now that I’m in charge of our finances. In addition, I am pleased with the legal issue. Now I can focus on growing the motorsport. We place a high value on diversity, so we must investigate it. Giving women and members more power has always been a big part of the FIA’s vision and how it works, he stated, “It is a Federation for everyone.”


Sulayem mentioned that he has improved a number of things, including addressing legal and financial issues, safety concerns like car bouncing on the Formula One track, and a new set of rules for the 2026 season, including the power unit rule.

“Some of the rules that we changed this year are still in place for the next year; the most significant one is for the power unit in 2026. We have worked very hard. It is now evident after consulting with other teams. As a result, signing is taking place right now.

Sulayem said that the sport was going through a “transition” phase as changes like having multiple race directors were properly planned and put into place.

We also had issues with human error when it came to race directors and stewards. We are currently at a crossroads. Our program is legitimate. We have an arrangement. It is planning to fail to plan. We have a strategy in place. The public was consulted. We can’t rely on just one or two race directors. This is a huge undertaking. It is a well-liked sport. Rotation of competent race directors and stewards is also necessary.

His handling of the contentious season-ending F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021, in which Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had the opportunity to win the championship by passing Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the final lap, has dominated his term. This was made possible by “human error” by Michael Masi.

When asked about the incident, Sulayem stated that it marked the conclusion of a chapter.

Get this out of the way first. Can we just continue? There has been sufficient progress backwards. Yes, we ran into problems. The first person to raise their hand and acknowledge that we made human errors was me. Sincerely, whenever we encountered issues, we properly reported them and made them available on the FIA website. Therefore, we have nothing to hide. Additionally, the FIA operates in a brand-new manner.

Sulayem lashed out against the social media cyberbullying committed by drivers’ supporters, noting that his staff had been threatened.

“Yes, we respect constructive criticism, which I also respect; however, you cannot continue with social media because it is getting out of hand. I am very protective of my employees and officials. Some of my employees were the targets of threats. I raised the flag. Together with the appropriate international media, stakeholders, teams, and drivers, I will do everything in my power to stop and fight this. That is something we can accomplish.

Sulayem asserted that as the first non-European president, he has been able to accomplish his goals by communicating his plans and agenda to other members.

Our accomplishments please me. It has been difficult. A lot of turbulence has occurred… there is turbulence. However, we investigate it and carry out our tasks.

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