F1 owners furious with FIA over president’s ‘inflated’ valuation comment

  • Turf war between teams and FIA continues to escalate
  • Ben Sulayem accused of interfering over commercial rights

Formula One, owned by Liberty Media, has accused the FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, of interfering with its commercial rights by publicly questioning a reported $20bn (£16.2bn) valuation of the sport.

Ben Sulayem, elected in 2021 to the top job at F1’s governing body, posted on Twitter on Monday after Bloomberg reported Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) explored a bid for more than that amount.

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Lewis Hamilton reveals ‘traumatising’ racist abuse suffered at school

  • Hamilton says children ‘kept calling me the N-word’
  • School days ‘the most difficult part of my life’

Lewis Hamilton said he had bananas thrown at him and was repeatedly called the N-word at school. The seven-times Formula One world champion, who was born and educated in Stevenage, detailed the racial abuse in the On Purpose podcast, released on Monday.

The 38-year-old, who is preparing for his 17th season in F1, said: “School was the most traumatising and most difficult part of my life. I was already being bullied at the age of six. At that particular school I was one of three kids of colour and just bigger, stronger, bullying kids were throwing me around a lot of the time.

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FIA completes F1 shake-up with Nielsen brought in as sporting director

  • Well respected new director has been in sport for 30 years
  • Nielsen will address FIA’s much criticised race management

Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, has completed a restructuring of its F1 management with the appointment of Steve Nielsen as sporting director. Nielsen, a veteran of 30 years in F1, will take up the role to address the FIA’s race management, which has been criticised with increasing intensity since the controversial finish to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021.

Nielsen is very well respected within the sport after a career including time at Lotus, Tyrrell, Benetton and Toro Rosso. He has worked under Ross Brawn as sporting director with F1 management since 2017. At the FIA he will be responsible for F1 sporting matters, including race control, the remote operations centre and future sporting regulations.

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F1 facing four-week hole in schedule with no replacement for Chinese GP

  • Alternatives including race in Algarve turned down
  • Covid policy means China misses out for fourth year

Formula One will have a four-week hole in this season’s calendar after the sport confirmed the Chinese Grand Prix would not be replaced.

The race in Shanghai – which had been due to take place on 16 April – was cancelled last month amid ongoing coronavirus restrictions in the country. Despite Chinese officials subsequently moving away from their zero-Covid policy, the round could not be salvaged, marking the fourth season it has been scrubbed from the racing schedule.

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