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FIA President under investigation for alleged attempt to fix race

The ethics committee of the FIA will reportedly take up to 6 weeks to issue its findings on the matter.

According to reports, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem is under investigation, after a whistleblower reported that Sulayem allegedly tried to influence the results of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Reports state that as per the whistleblower, Ben Sulayem allegedly tried to overturn a time penalty given to Fernando Alonso during that race. Alonso was given a 10-second time penalty when one of Aston Martin's pit crew touched his car while serving an unrelated 5-second penalty - something which is explicitly against the rules.

The whistleblower alleges that the FIA President expected the stewards to overturn their decision. The reports go on to claim that Ben Sulayem even called FIA's Vice President personally and told him the penalty should be revoked. Also, as per another report, several senior figures in F1 corroborated the information but chose to remain anonymous.

After the race, the 10-second penalty relegated Alonso from third to fourth position. However, a few hours later the FIA stewards rescinded the penalty, and Alonso was reinstated in third place. It now allegedly appears that Ben Sulayem could have pulled some strings in favour of Alonso. The report states that it is worth noting that Saudi Arabia's oil giant, Aramco, is a major sponsor of the Aston Martin F1 team.

The ethics committee of the FIA will reportedly take up to 6 weeks to issue its findings on the matter.

Source: BBC

 
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