Formula 1: FIA President does not believe in Hamilton’s resignation

He has only been the new FIA President since mid-December – and Mohammed Ben Sulayem (60) has to deal with the controversy surrounding the Formula 1 World Cup final and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), which is following him into the desert.
On the sidelines of the Dakar Rally, the former rally driver from Dubai admits to the discussions about the use of the safety car in Abu Dhabi: “I was only elected two weeks ago and I am still analyzing what happened. Formula 1 is a dynamic sport, and we have to be that too – active and reactive. Rules need to be adjusted. The sports law is not the ten commandments, but a set of regulations that must be constantly improved. “

An admission with which he takes speed out of the discussion and at the same time signals that weaknesses in the set of rules can be eliminated for the future. For the past, however, the previous regulations as well as the factual decisions of the race director apply.

However, Ben Sulayem is not afraid that the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton could hang up his helmet in view of the incidents. “Has Lewis Hamilton put a resignation into the room,” he asks the counter-question. “No. I am very confident that it will also be there in 2022. It is a fundamental part of our sport. “

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem

Perhaps that is why Jean Todt’s successor is holding back with a possible penalty for the Mercedes star. The Briton stayed away from the FIA ​​gala, although the FIA ​​statutes require the first three pilots to compete at the award ceremony. Michael Schumacher was also summoned to Paris from his vacation in Norway. Ex-President Max Mosley then threatened: The penalty for staying away would be more expensive than the kerosene for Schumacher’s private jet.

Ben Sulayem is reluctant to make such statements. “I sent a message to Lewis,” he says. “I don’t think he’s ready to talk about what happened and I can understand him.” However, the FIA ​​President also admits: “There are rules that must be followed. No driver or team is above respect for the integrity of the FIA. But I don’t want to judge until I have carefully looked at all the facts. “

Alone: ​​The ex-racing driver from Dubai indicates that he could be lenient. “In the end, we’re all human and the pressure was great. We now have to look more towards the future than into the past. ”The FIA ​​has therefore set up a commission to deal with the events of Abu Dhabi.

This is what Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff also called for. In his legendary press conference after the World Cup final, the Austrian emphasized: “It’s not just about a decision to replace the race director. The whole system of decision-making needs to be improved. ”

Not only in Abu Dhabi, but throughout the 2021 season, there were contradicting decisions. Wolff: “It’s one thing to drive hard and have different views between the drivers and teams. That’s only natural. But inconsistent decisions lead to controversy and polarization. And that was the reason for a lot of the totally unnecessary controversy on the route. “

Not an easy task for the new FIA President.

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