FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem cleared of interfering in Formula One races

Mohammed Ben Sulayem (Getty Images)
Mohammed Ben Sulayem (Getty Images)

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been cleared of interfering in Formula One races in Saudi Arabia and Las Vegas last year.

Ben Sulayem was accused of interfering with the result of last year's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - specifically overturning a penalty given to Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso - and attempting to block the certification of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

However, he has been cleared after a thorough investigation by the FIA Compliance Department - an independent ethics body.

It said in a statement: "The FIA Compliance Department, supported by external advisors, conducted thorough inquiries over allegations of potential interference in sporting decisions during Formula One events in 2023.

"After reviewing the results of the inquiries, the Ethics Committee were unanimous in their determination that there was no evidence to substantiate allegations of interference of any kind involving the FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

"Concerns over potential interference were brought to the attention of the FIA Compliance Officer and subsequently passed to the FIA Ethics Committee under Article 32.2.5 of the FIA Statutes.

"There followed a robust and wide-ranging independent review spanning 30 days, which included interviews with 11 witnesses.

"Allegations against the FIA President were unsubstantiated and strong evidence beyond any reasonable doubt was presented to support the determination of the FIA Ethics Committee.

"The FIA President was cleared of any wrongdoing regarding allegations (i) to have interfered with the Stewards' decision to reverse an additional penalty on Car 14 following a challenge from the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 and (ii) to have attempted to interfere with the track certification process for the Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023. The certification was completed and approved in due time.

"The President showed complete co-operation, transparency, and compliance throughout the process during this investigation was greatly appreciated."

Additional reporting from PA