FIA president Ben Sulayem is at the center of more allegations over Las Vegas homologation

According to a BBC story, a whistleblower claims they were told “at the request of the FIA ​​president” about the street track’s unevenness ahead of the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix last November – a major event for Formula 1 as it moved to promote the race itself for the first time. Once.

The allegation was included in a report, which the BBC claims to have seen, by the FIA's compliance officer to the Ethics Committee.

There was a delay before the circuit was ready for inspection due to the local organiser's “ongoing construction work”. The whistleblower then says they were hired by their manager under instructions from Bin Sulayem to find problems with the place so it could not be declared safe. But no concerns were found.

This accusation appears to contradict Ben Sulayem's claims that he supported the homogeneity of the new path and that the relationship between the governing body and the FOM is much stronger than it was when he replaced his predecessor Jean Todt.

In an exclusive interview with our sister site Motorsport.com GB Racing magazine, Bin Sulayem was asked whether the FIA ​​and FOM should always agree. His answer was: “No.” FOM has its points. But today, since I assumed the presidency, we are in a much better position together.

A general view of the start and finish line from above at the Las Vegas GP

Photography: Philip Hirst / Motorsport pictures

“And if you told me I could go back and change some of the things that happened, for example, when I was attacked by the media – I wouldn’t change anything.

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“Let me give you an example from Las Vegas… it is the president of the FIA ​​who signs off on the approval of the new track, or of all the tracks. I supported that.

“I could have said no,” [because it wasn’t ready in time for inspection]. But once my team said it was safe… Because I'm a driver, I care about the well-being of the drivers and the people around them, our staff and the guards. i did it.

“It was a big thing. If I had said no, it would have been disastrous [for F1]. But it would have been legal. But I'm careful because I love this sport.

“At the end of the day, we are in the same boat. We may have different missions. But we are in the same boat. We cannot let the sport sink.”

The same whistleblower also accused Ben Sulayem of trying to convince race stewards to overturn the penalty that initially cost Fernando Alonso third place in the 2023 Saudi Grand Prix.

Motorsport.com has contacted the FIA ​​for comment.

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