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F1 chiefs believe Ben Sulayem’s comments went over the limit

President of the FIA Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports Mark Rushbrook seen at the WRC launch at the Hangar 7 in Salzburg, Austria on January 15, 2022. // Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202201150155 // Usage for editorial use only //

Ben Sulayem commented on social media regarding the matter of a bid worth $20 billion to buy Formula 1. F1 chiefs felt those comments were “unacceptable”.

FIA president said regarding the offer made by Saudi Arabia that “just a lot of money” would not be enough to buy the sport, but the buyer would also need a clear plan for the future of the sport.

“As the custodians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organisation, is cautious about alleged inflated price tags of $20bn being put on F1,” he wrote.

“Any potential buyer is advised to apply common sense, consider the greater good of the sport and come up with a clear, sustainable plan – not just a lot of money.

“It is our duty to consider what the future impact will be for promoters in terms of increased hosting fees and other commercial costs, and any adverse impact that it could have on fans.”

However, Liberty Media was not happy at all with Ben Sulayem’s comments. Due to that, a letter was sent out to express the consternation about what the FIA president had said.

“The FIA has given unequivocal undertakings that it will not do anything to prejudice the ownership, management, and/or exploitation of those rights.

“We consider that those comments, made from the FIA President’s official social media account, interfere with those rights in an unacceptable manner.”

Formula 1 has not published any statement regarding the matter yet, while the FIA has been contacted for a comment. We will keep you updated.

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