F1 bosses have accused FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem of “unacceptable” interference in the alleged sale of the sport.
After reports of a $20bn (£16.3bn) Saudi bid to buy F1’s commercial rights, Ben Sulayem took to Twitter to say fan ticket prices would be higher if the new owners tried to take it back. , expressed concern about the potential consequences of an “inflated” acquisition of their investment.
He added that potential buyers of F1 “need to have a clear and sustainable plan, not just a lot of money”.
sky sports news Revealing on Monday that his remarks angered senior F1 officials, legal officials warned the FIA that Ben Slyem’s tweets “interfered with our rights in an unacceptable manner”.
In a letter first reported by sky news, not only, sky sports news, F1 General Counsel Sascha Woodward Hill and Chief Legal and Administrative Officer Lenny Wilm Liberty Media Co., Ltd.F1’s controlling shareholder, the FIA, has accused the FIA (the governing body of motorsport) of straying beyond its mandate.
The letter has also been distributed to all 10 F1 teams. sky sports news A response has been requested from the FIA, but no comment has been received.
Ben Sulayem’s comments were made in response to last week’s report. bloomberg news A Saudi sovereign wealth fund was considering a $20 billion takeover bid for the sport in 2022.
Neither F1 nor the Saudi Public Investment Fund have commented on the report.
The letter warned the FIA that under the 100-year contract “Formula 1 has the exclusive right to exploit the commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship”.
“Furthermore, the FIA has made a clear commitment that it will do nothing to prejudice the ownership, control and/or exploitation of those rights.
“We believe the comments from the FIA president’s official social media accounts violate those rights in an unacceptable way.”
The reaction to Ben Slyem’s comments comes at a time of heightened tension between F1 and its governing body.
The letter from Woodward Hill and Wilm also said that implied in the FIA president’s remarks, “the proposal that potential purchasers of the F1 business should consult with the FIA is false”.
Ben Slyem added that he ‘stepped over'[ped] Scope of the FIA’s powers,” it said, adding that “a person or organization that comments on the value of a listed company or its subsidiary, particularly any person or organization that claims or implies that they are in possession of inside information while doing so, shall not be liable to its shareholders. and investors could be subject to significant harm, not to mention significant regulatory consequences.”
“To the extent that these comments damage Liberty Media Corporation’s value, the FIA may be held liable as a result.”
contact address sky news, An F1 spokesman declined to comment.
F1 teams question FIA president’s position after recent disagreements
Analysis by Craig Slater for Sky Sports News…
Ahead of the 2023 season, this is a big rivalry at the top of the sport.
Formula 1 is owned and publicly traded by the American company Liberty Media. If someone in the position of FIA president made an observation about what potentially appropriate value would be, it could be to the company’s commercial detriment.
This is just one of many issues that have frustrated not only F1, but several teams during Mohamed Ben Sulayem’s tenure.
I have been in contact with many F1 teams and they have different views on what happened this week.
A senior executive told me that there are discussions among many teams about how long Mohammed Ben Sulayem can continue in this work.
His tenure has been questioned, as the (relationship) between the governing body and the commercial rights holders, and thus the team, has become increasingly difficult.
It’s more of a leadership style than anything else. It all comes down to a deal some people in the sport had over a decade ago when the FIA (then led by Max Mosley) sold a 100-year lease of commercial rights to the then-run organization. It goes back to anxiety. Bernie Ecclestone exploits commercial rights.
At the time, it was felt to be too cheap, and some people saw Mohammed Ben Sulayem publicly show his displeasure with the arrangement.
This is a deeply rooted and historical issue that governing bodies and commercial rights holders must grapple with.