The president of the FIA, with Clarín in the Dakar: can the World Rally Championship return to Argentina?

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The Rolls Royce arrived escorted by six high-end cars. A vehicle of that brand is an eye-catcher in any area, especially when driving along the main road in the field Dakar.

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A gentleman in Arab clothes quickly got out of one of those cars to open one of the huge and heavy doors of the distinguished luxury car. From within it came down Muhammad ben Sulayemcurrent president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

He met the delegates of the organization headed by the former Dubai pilot, as well as the authorities of Dakar and Saudi Arabia, to then visit the field and speak with Sebastian Loeb, Nasser Al-Attiyah Y Charles Sainzspecial stars.

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Later, in one of the tents set up in the heart of the camp, Mohammed ben Sulayem received a handful of Spanish-speaking media representatives, including Clarín.

He greeted one by one very kindly and when he sat down he started talking about different topics, mainly Formula 1.

“It was great news for me to know that the Andretti team and Cadillac intend to enter the top flight. It fills me with satisfaction and optimism,” commented the FIA ​​leader.

On this point he established his position, facing some currents of motorsport who prefer to maintain exclusivity in a very closed nucleus: “There are two sides to sustainability, that of the environment and that of sport. Now, if we focus on the sport itself, we have to be open to all manufacturers from around the world who want to participate. What’s better than that?

-Do you prefer to open directly to Formula 1?

-If a company as big as General Motors is interested in Formula 1, it is important, together with the Andretti team. As president of the FIA ​​I have to keep the entity open to see the opportunities for success. We need to further promote motor sport. Any member who arrives will be welcome. And more if it comes from the United States, where F1 has three appointments. There could be up to 12 teams in the category and that would be very cool.

-One of the most controversial issues is the ban on messages of any kind from drivers, with a new FIA code of ethics. What’s the explanation?

-I am in favor of the expression of any cause of a social nature. Sport must build bonds and be used for good deeds. But they also need to be reviewed and approved by the World Sports Council. The FIA ​​should not be used as a platform for personal matters.

Can the pilots express themselves?

-What pilots do best is drive. It’s the numbers. And there are other areas to express yourself. There is no intention of silencing anyone, even if we want the FIA ​​to be neutral.

Will there be penalties for this?

-The stewards will determine this, as they do if they exceed the maximum speed in a limited area. If the rules are clear, there shouldn’t be any problems.

-Another topic that has been heavily installed is the budget ceiling in Formula 1 teams. What analysis do you make after the Red Bull case and its alleged overspending?

-Teams have a technology challenge within a budget. The Red Bull case was clear. They are all monitored by the FIA. The goal of this strategy is for small teams to be able to fight big ones. Aston Martin, for example, could be fighting for the win in two or three years. Look at the case of Ferrari, which doesn’t win and has resources.

-A year ago you said that it was feasible for the Rally to return to Argentina, can you recover the date of the World Championship?

-I think yes. As is known, the Rally was already in Argentina. It’s not a championship or land problem. We are in contact with the promoter and have to wait how they sort out the logistics. Where and when. The problem is financing and logistics support. We met with ACA representatives to see how Rally Argentina can return to the World Cup.

-What is your relationship with the ACA authorities?

-The relationship with the ACA is perfect. The relationship with the ACA enriches everyone. We recently met to evaluate various aspects of the business. For me the electoral process is over. I am the president of the FIA, so the body is there to manage all the automobile federations or associations in the world first.


Source: Clarin

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