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New FIA President elected: Mohammed Ben Sulayem


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#1 SophieB

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:07

@ianparkesf1

Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been elected the new president of the FIA, succeeding Jean Todt whose 12-year reign has come to an end.

Born in the UAE, the 60-year-old has served as vice-president for sport for the Middle East for the last 13 years, during which time he has also been a member of the World Motor Sport Council.

Ben Sulayem recorded a comfortable 62% of the vote of the FIA General Assembly, the supreme decision-making arm of the governing body that comprises automobile and touring clubs and national sporting authorities that represent the 245 member organisations.

Ben Sulayem beat Graham Stoker, a barrister who has served as Todt's right-hand man as deputy president since 2009. He becomes the first non-European president of the FIA.


 

https://www.gpfans.c...-fia-president/



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#2 Risil

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:08

Interesting. Wonder what his aims and policies will be?



#3 Gareth

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:11

Did he stand against Todt (or Mosely) one time before, or have I imagined that?



#4 PayasYouRace

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:15

I’ve not been paying that much attention to the FIA leadership situation but I didn’t realise this was happening now.

He was a rally driver once upon a time, wasn’t he?

That’s all I really know about him, but he seems well qualified to do the job.

#5 Gareth

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:16

Race Fans profile here: Meet the candidates for FIA president – Mohammed Ben Sulayem · RaceFans

 

His Wiki page is quite long too: Mohammed bin Sulayem - Wikipedia

 

He did stand against Todt initially in 2013, but withdrew his candidacy (and then received a plum job).



#6 smitten

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:17


He did stand against Todt initially in 2013, but withdrew his candidacy (and then received a plum job).

Good old FIA transparency in action!



#7 Frood

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:22

He was a rally driver once upon a time, wasn’t he?


Indeed. He had a little success. Won the Middle East Rally Championship. And then won it again another 13 times!

#8 BRG

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:35

Good.  Time the FIA had someone as President who wasn't immersed to his neck in F1 politics.  Also time that the Rest of the World got a look in, not just France and the UK.  And maybe a rally driver will do something practical to rescue the WRC from its doldrums.


Edited by BRG, 17 December 2021 - 12:35.


#9 FLB

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:38

I’ve not been paying that much attention to the FIA leadership situation but I didn’t realise this was happening now.
 

It has quite a bit to do with how Jean Todt has handled the Abu Dhabi affaiire. He left it for his successor, quite rightly IMHO. The timing is just horrible.


Edited by FLB, 17 December 2021 - 12:39.


#10 FLB

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:39

Good.  Time the FIA had someone as President who wasn't immersed to his neck in F1 politics.  Also time that the Rest of the World got a look in, not just France and the UK.  And maybe a rally driver will do something practical to rescue the WRC from its doldrums.

Yeah, but it also means Bernie Ecclestone's return to the sphere of influence, through his wife...



#11 Fastcake

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:43

The “change” candidate apparently, which although he can’t be considered an actual outsider due to his various positions in the FIA, is probably true compared to the business as usual approach of Todt’s right hand man.

First non-European president, although I do note that in coming from a wealthy and well connected Emirati family, we’ve gone back to the days when the FIA was a plaything for the deposed noble houses of Europe.

#12 Little Leaf

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:44

Good luck



#13 garoidb

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:45

I’ve not been paying that much attention to the FIA leadership situation but I didn’t realise this was happening now.

He was a rally driver once upon a time, wasn’t he?

That’s all I really know about him, but he seems well qualified to do the job.

 

Jean Todt came from that branch of motorsport also.



#14 FLB

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:49

It had been rumoured for a while that Stoker's candidacy was in trouble, as evidenced by the Youtube video that Motorsport UK put out. I think that it's another element why Mercedes chose not to push Abu Dhabi further, because they understood change would be coming at the highest level. It may also be why Ross Brawn is alledgedly leaving FOM at the end of next year, because FOM/Liberty's relationship with the FIA will not be the same.

 

I expect Michael Masi's days are numbered. Michèle Mouton has already left the Women's commission.

 


Edited by FLB, 17 December 2021 - 12:53.


#15 BRG

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 12:53

Jean Todt came from that branch of motorsport also.

I had high hopes for Todt as he was a rally co-driver, the finest sort of human being possible.   ;)   



#16 Singularity

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:07

The ME has certainly made their presence clear. They have the President and three races, including the first and the last of the season. It is all coincidental, of course.


Edited by Singularity, 17 December 2021 - 21:48.


#17 Claudius

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:07

Good.  Time the FIA had someone as President who wasn't immersed to his neck in F1 politics.  Also time that the Rest of the World got a look in, not just France and the UK.  And maybe a rally driver will do something practical to rescue the WRC from its doldrums.

 

I don't know, all of the candidates are immersed in politics in one way or another, that's why they get to where they are.

Whether he will be a better candidate then Todt remains to be seen. I have low hopes of anything significant changing.



#18 macjim

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:09

Good luck to him, he has one or two small issue to figure out in the F1 world - it will be interesting to see how he gets on.



#19 PayasYouRace

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:15

It has quite a bit to do with how Jean Todt has handled the Abu Dhabi affaiire. He left it for his successor, quite rightly IMHO. The timing is just horrible.


Surely this date was set a while back and has little to do with Abu Dhabi.

But I think it’s good timing. A good opportunity to get some change going when it’s desperately needed.

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#20 PayasYouRace

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:17

Jean Todt came from that branch of motorsport also.


I was just making sure I was thinking of the same guy.

#21 FLB

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:17

Surely this date was set a while back and has little to do with Abu Dhabi.

But I think it’s good timing. A good opportunity to get some change going when it’s desperately needed.

The date is set by statute. What it has to do with Abu Dhabi is that it probably conditioned Jean Todt's response to it.

 

Todt can't/couldn't get involved any further.


Edited by FLB, 17 December 2021 - 13:21.


#22 Eyeshield

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:37

Thank god for that. I admit I do not know much about the new president or how he will fare in his new role but to see the back of Todt is welcome news.



#23 BRG

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:37

I don't know, all of the candidates are immersed in politics in one way or another, that's why they get to where they are.

 

I said 'immersed in F1 politics' which isn't the same thing.  He has no connections with any of the players AFAIK, hasn't worked in F1 and doesn't seem to have ever pontificated on it?  He can set things in F1 to rights without fear or favour.  Hopefully.... :well:



#24 MasterOfCoin

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 13:51

Interesting. Wonder what his aims and policies will be?

His first task will be to taste a Redbull and a monster energy drink and decide which he thinks is better.....🤣

#25 garoidb

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:00

I was just making sure I was thinking of the same guy.

 

Yes, I wasn't implying anything one way or the other. 



#26 Chillimeister

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:03

First non-European president, although I do note that in coming from a wealthy and well connected Emirati family, we’ve gone back to the days when the FIA was a plaything for the deposed noble houses of Europe.

 

Indeed. Interesting that his priority is to enable 'better and more affordable pathways for young drivers'. Maybe he's not as wealthy as it appears on the face of it.



#27 ensign14

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:05

His first task will be to taste a Redbull and a monster energy drink and decide which he thinks is better.....🤣

A futile gesture when there is Rich Energy.

#28 Fastcake

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:07

It has quite a bit to do with how Jean Todt has handled the Abu Dhabi affaiire. He left it for his successor, quite rightly IMHO. The timing is just horrible.


You know if Mercedes were feeling really mischievous, they would have spent the last few days talking to any floating voters…

#29 statman

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:16

Bernie's wife Fabiana Ecclestone is in and will be getting a Vice-Presidency:

 

Fabiana.jpeg



#30 Afterburner

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:22

Best of luck to him. I liked some of the ideas Graham Stoker had outlined (and I was looking forward to Dracula jokes), but it's not like I had any say in the matter!



#31 HerbieMcQueen

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:25

The UAE has certainly made their presence clear. They have the President and three races, including the first and the last of the season. It is all coincidental, of course.

 

Am I missing a joke here?



#32 Stephane

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:25

The UAE has certainly made their presence clear. They have the President and three races, including the first and the last of the season. It is all coincidental, of course.

They only have one race, but whatever, i guess.



#33 William Hunt

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:35

I think he's the right man for the job, certainly a better choice as the Bobo who was the other candidate. This man drove rally at the highest level and he's very experienced in sports management as well.



#34 AlexPrime

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:38

I think that this is good news. I liked how he focused on improving local championships and making motorsport cheaper and stressed that FIA is not only about F1. 



#35 William Hunt

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:41

I think that this is good news. I liked how he focused on improving local championships and making motorsport cheaper and stressed that FIA is not only about F1. 

 

You said it: that's exactly why he was a strong candidate imho.



#36 ANF

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:44

I think he's the right man for the job, certainly a better choice as the Bobo who was the other candidate. This man drove rally at the highest level and he's very experienced in sports management as well.

He has even driven an F1 car. :)




#37 frosty125

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:49

Bernie's wife Fabiana Ecclestone is in and will be getting a Vice-Presidency:

 

 

At least it is a woman. I thought FIA had improved since the Mosley era and in ways it has come far. However it's clearly no where near close to meeting public expectations when it comes to ethics and standards as a governing body.



#38 mclarensmps

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:50

Am I missing a joke here?

 

It tells you everything you need to know, doesn't it?

I remember him being a genuine motorsports guy from back in the day, so I wish him the best of luck. 



#39 loki

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:54

Eddie Gossage would have been a good choice…



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#40 Dipster

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:56

His first task will be to taste a Redbull and a monster energy drink and decide which he thinks is better.....

 

 

If he has my tastes he'll spit both out!



#41 Secretariat

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:58

Sulayem or Stoker would have been satisfactory in my opinion. His election makes sense given the growth and development of motorsports in Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, etc; added cultural competence is usually pretty helpful. However, that is not to say or insinuate Stoker or others don't have it or would not be successful given the common language of business. Would not be surprised to see during his tenure a Moroccan GP given the talk, and an Egyptian GP given their overall construction efforts. Of course its my speculative opinion. 



#42 FLB

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 14:59

Robert Reid is already going to work:

 

https://racingnews36...sence-from-gala



#43 Singularity

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 15:01

Am I missing a joke here?

True, I meant to write Middle East



#44 Stephane

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 15:08

You missed one race then



#45 aportinga

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 15:19

It has quite a bit to do with how Jean Todt has handled the Abu Dhabi affaiire. He left it for his successor, quite rightly IMHO. The timing is just horrible.

 

Todt announced he was leaving quite a bit ago so unless you have proof this comment is useless.



#46 aportinga

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 15:20

The date is set by statute. What it has to do with Abu Dhabi is that it probably conditioned Jean Todt's response to it.

 

Todt can't/couldn't get involved any further.

 

Okay - proof?



#47 aportinga

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 15:22

Bernie's wife Fabiana Ecclestone is in and will be getting a Vice-Presidency:

 

Fabiana.jpeg

 

Yeah this is great... Since BE stated LH should not beat MS world champ record we'll have yet another reason for Hamilton fans to scream conspiracy!

 

JMB Part deux?



#48 smitten

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 15:22

Todt announced he was leaving quite a bit ago so unless you have proof this comment is useless.

No - he is leaving already, so it is right to leave it to his successor.  The timing of the scandal is unfortunate  - because it's when Todt is still in post but really a lame duck.



#49 aportinga

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 15:24

Eddie Gossage would have been a good choice…

 

What?

 

In what world is he even in the same universe?

 

I admit you have me completely perplexed here.



#50 aportinga

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Posted 17 December 2021 - 15:29

No - he is leaving already, so it is right to leave it to his successor.  The timing of the scandal is unfortunate  - because it's when Todt is still in post but really a lame duck.

 

There was a good deal of speculation prior to the race that Todt would be going back to Ferrari. If that comes to fruition I would say that his departure is not linked to Abu Dhabi. The FIA is standing behind MM and there is no reason for anyone at the FIA to baulk. They have control of the sport - full stop. Last weekends issue is essentially done - Mercedes withrew and now it's on to 2022. So I am not sure why anyone would think JT would be concerned enough to depart his role prematurely. That's speculation that boarders on conspiracy as far as I am concerned.