October 3, 2022


A Class Of Its Own

FIA Presidential Candidate Ben Sulayem On His Plans To Double Motorsport

The 59-year-old is a single of the most notable figures in motorsport from the Middle East. A previous many regional rally winner as a driver, he is President of the UAE motorsport federation and because 2008 he has sat on the Earth Motor Sport Council as an FIA Vice President for Activity. So why has he decided to stand for FIA President?

“Motorsport has presented me a whole lot, most of my daily life, “says Ben Sulayem. “As a driver for 20 decades I’ve received 14 periods (Center East rally Championship), then became an organizer in cost of motorsport at household. I believe it is time to give back again to the sport and the federation. I’m passionate to make a improve and to make improvements to, to stick to some of the steps but also to evolve.”

Ben Sulayem has been weighing up a operate for FIA president for some time and the retirement of Todt immediately after three terms offers the option. He not long ago published his manifesto and is standing on a ticket that claims to mature participation in the sport globally as properly as a lot more economical transparency.

FIA Presidential candidate ben Sulayem on his plans to double motorsport

Ben Sulayem’s vision for managing the FIA differs from Todt’s and that of his deputy president Graham Stoker, who is Ben Sulayem’s opponent in the election, in a person important regard: he would employ a CEO to run the Federation. Beneath Todt and his predecessor Max Mosley, the President operates the FIA, even though the two pillars of sport and mobility (highway transport) are each and every managed by a Secretary-Standard. This new vision would build a quite potent new role and see the FIA operate extra like a business.

“The day-to-day management, it is not for the President,” he suggests. “I really don’t want to micromanage. I want to be a President, to guide, but to hand the working day-to-working day to a CEO, who can convey the sport and mobility collectively.” If elected he and his appointed CEO would place the emphasis on increasing participation, with a guarantee to double the number of members around the globe in four several years.

Ben Sulayem argues that if Finland with a populace of 5.5 million men and women has 11,000 opposition license holders, then there is substantial advancement prospective in China and India which have only about 4,000 license holders just about every.  So how will he do that? He presents the illustration of Cross Car or truck, which is the FIA’s concept for minimal-price tag entry-degree rallying, effectively an off-street buggy driven by a motorbike motor, like go-karts is a gateway to circuit racing.

“(You need to) have cost-effective vehicles in the introductory stage,” he suggests. “We started out a thing called Cross Vehicle. And that was amazing, I believe it is the potential. But the prices are intended to be like €8,000, no more. And then it jumped to €25,000. If you glimpse at India and China, they have engines, why do we impose on them? We get the blueprint, we make certain we supervise and implement the safety restrictions in it and allow them go into their individual regional championship and regional championships? If we place a target in 4 several years to double it, it is achievable.

“Formula A single and WRC are in great shape, they are extremely balanced. But the planet needs a lot more than that. I signify, we’re chatting about regional or regional amount, you need neighborhood participation, you will need neighborhood functions, and you need to have regional functions. That can only materialize if we do it in an very affordable way.”

As effectively as searching for to double the contributors in motorsport, Ben Sulayem needs to increase the energy of the regional motorsport hubs and to have increased transparency on the monetary aspect of the Federation.

“The fiscal (side) of the FIA is not healthier, we want to go and have a glimpse at the financials and the proof to make also the FIA back into the organization in a positive way, “ he states. ”Transparency and accountability are incredibly important if you want to be taken seriously in the entire world. So for instance, the FIA accounts, when we required to choose a glance at them, have been incredibly hard to achieve or to acquire. So I think we need to follow the primary Federations in the entire world, like the IOC, which we are section of, you will see all the accounts staying stated on their internet site.”

Ben Sulayem’s jogging mate as Deputy President for Sport is previous planet rally winner co-driver, Robert Reid, while a single eye-catching identify on the ticket is Bernie Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana, who is functioning as a vice president for activity for the South American region.

FIA Presidential candidate ben Sulayem on his plans to double motorsport

The election will consider location on December 17th in Paris. It will be a substantial minute for the activity due to the fact, with all the troubles going through motorsport from environmental problems to the require for better range, the next four years will be critical for placing the class for the long run.