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When the boss steps in: the next scandal in Formula 1

When the boss steps in: the next scandal in Formula 1

Formula 1 is not calming down after the turmoil surrounding Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, and the head of the International Automobile Federation, Mohammed bin Sulayem, is under severe criticism. He is said to have arranged for a racing driver to be given a time penalty – and so the former world champion retained his place on the podium.

Formula 1 cannot escape negative headlines. A report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stated that the President of the International Automobile Federation, Mohammed bin Sulayem, is under investigation on charges of influencing the Formula 1 race last year. According to the report, the FIA ​​Ethics Committee, which is based in Paris, should deal with this matter. The results of the investigation should be expected within four to six weeks.

An informant has reportedly explained that the 62-year-old FIA president from Dubai campaigned for a time penalty against Spanish Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso to be withdrawn from the Saudi Grand Prix on March 19 last year. The penalty was actually overturned, meaning Alonso ultimately retained third place in the classification.

Why do you interfere?

The report did not explain the reason for Bin Sulayem’s intervention. When asked, neither he nor the FIA ​​commented on the matter. It is also unclear why the investigation was announced this week ahead of next Saturday's Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia. The BBC report said that several high-ranking employees in Formula 1 and close to the FIA ​​confirmed this information but did not want to comment publicly.

Team boss Horner remains under pressure

If the information is correct, there will be a second sideshow in Formula 1. What happens next at Red Bull is eagerly awaited in Saudi Arabia, where team rounds and a driver press conference are scheduled to take place on Wednesday. Team boss Christian Horner is under a lot of pressure on the world champion team. One of the employees accused the 50-year-old of inappropriate behaviour.

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After an independent investigation, the complaint was dismissed by the parent company, but anonymous emails linking to material related to the matter exacerbated the situation. Jos Verstappen, father of world champion Max Verstappen, has more or less publicly called for the sacking of Horner, who denies the allegations.

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