Europa Press

Updated Tuesday, March 5, 2024-09:56

  • F1 Fernando Alonso regains the podium in Jeddah at dawn

  • Opinion A nonsense rectified at dawn

The president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA),

Mohammed Ben Sulayem

, is being investigated for alleged

interference in the outcome of a Formula 1 race

, allegedly by removing a 10-second penalty from Spanish driver

Fernando Alonso

(Aston Martin) during the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP, ​​a penalty that would have left him without a podium.

According to the


, the FIA's compliance officer,

Paolo Basarri

, sent a

report to the Ethics Committee

in which he stated that Ben Sulayem acted to annul a penalty imposed on the Asturian driver in the Saudi event.

In addition, the British public broadcaster points out that a source revealed that Ben Sulayem

called Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa

, FIA vice president of sport for the Middle East and North Africa region and that he was in Saudi Arabia to see the race, and asked him to withdraw Alonso's sanction.

The elimination of the 10-second penalty on the two-time world champion, imposed after

one of the mechanics touched the car with the jack during a stop

when Alonso was serving a previous five-second penalty - for placing his car outside the starting box. on the grid -, returned him to the podium behind the Red Bull duo formed by the Mexican Sergio Pérez and the Dutch Max Verstappen.

The sanction would have dropped him to fourth position.

There was no suggestion at the time that there was anything inappropriate about the decision, after Aston Martin sporting director

Andy Stevenson

raised allegations in the team's case with stewards.