FIA president Emirati Mohammed Ben Sulayem underscores motorsport's environmental and safety priorities

The tour follows Ben Sulayem completing six months at the helm of the FIA

By Leslie Wilson Jr

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FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem (right) with Formula One world champion Max Verstappen. — AFP
FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem (right) with Formula One world champion Max Verstappen. — AFP

Published: Mon 1 Aug 2022, 3:59 PM

Last updated: Tue 2 Aug 2022, 12:11 AM

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, motorsport’s dynamic new head, has reiterated the importance of Formula One’s commitment to developing a greener environment and to improving the overall safety in the sport.

Delivering sustainable policies has been very much at the forefront of Ben Sulayem’s agenda ever since he assumed office as President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in December 2021, and he remains focused on making them a reality.

A former multiple Middle East rally champion and prominent businessman in the UAE, Ben Sulayem is currently in the midst of a world tour to mark six months at the helm of the FIA.

A UAE national who was born in Dubai, he is the first non-European to hold the President position at the FIA.

Ben Sulayem recently attended the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, the last F1 race before the summer break, where he discussed a wide range of issues with the drivers, team principals, and FIA technical teams.

The talks focused on the issue of driver safety and health.

Since replacing Frenchman Jean Todt, to become the 10th FIA President, Ben Sulayem has been credited with having ushered in a new era for motorsport. He has launched various audits to improve the organization, revitalized the FIA’s governance, and appointed the first Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion manager at the FIA in the Ukrainian born Tanya Kutsenko,

In recent years, he has also played a decisive role in the development of motorsport in the UAE and throughout the Middle East in a bid to make the region the new epicenter of the sport.

During his world tour, Ben Sulayem also visited the UK for the London E-Prix, the new round of the FIA Formula E World Championship.

He met with Jamie Reigle, the CEO of Formula E, as well as the drivers and team managers participating in the race. Formula E is an FIA racing category created in 2014 that is 100% electric and became a world championship in 2021.

The discipline is designed to promote clean mobility and to encourage the car industry to invest in electric vehicles. The FIA itself is developing an environmental strategy to become net-zero carbon by 2030, and by 2026, all the FIA world championships will run with sustainable energies.

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