Newly elected president of the FIA Mohammed Ben Sulayem who has not even held his title for a full week didn't skip a beat addressing controversial topics during a press conference in Paris following the Annual General Assembly
After the enormous fallout over the safety car scandal during the season finale in Abu Dhabi, damage control in the future was a crucial topic discussed. Sulayem reassured the media that he would revisit the rules and that in the future there will be a solution readily available should a similar instance occur.
“We will look into the rules and we are sure that, if any situation like this occurs in the future, we will have an instant solution for it, or we avoid it even,” Sulayem said.
Former Rally champion Sulayem also mentioned how he sees areas that can be improved in F1’s current state.
“There are so many areas that we can improve. We cannot just sit and say we are good. No, it's not enough in a sport as heavy, I would say, and as important (as F1).”
One of the most burning issues at the moment in F1 after the controversial season finale centers around current race director Michael Masi who made the safety car call that altered the end of the race. Sulayem was asked whether or not he has confidence in Masi and he said that he would not “jump to a conclusion” without discussing the matter further with his team.
“Why do we jump? We'll have to actually look into the matter,” Sulayem replied.
“I am just newly elected, and I will look into the matter tomorrow. I have a meeting with the staff, and I will look into every single matter that can be improved. But I definitely will not just jump to a conclusion on decisions without going back to my team.”
While the FIA’s credibility has been questioned and its reputation tarnished in F1 especially with fans around the world over the disputable race results, Sulayem reiterates that although the FIA is made up of good structures with good teams, there is always room for improvement.
“If you talk to me about the credibility of the FIA, yes, we lie on good structures, and [with] good teams, but there is always a place for improvement. We just have to look where can we improve”
Sulayem made it clear that not only will he take his new role seriously but that he will devote himself to prioritizing his FIA duties while focusing with passion.
“One thing is that I will devote myself, and I am not going to have any other job except being the President of the FIA” Sulayem stated.
“I stepped down from all of my other responsibilities. I am not going to do anything else. And I'm not going to be a burden on the FIA.
“I will concentrate with passion, with the right team, and I have a good team, and we are asking for even a better team. So this is why the FIA is credible.”