Formula 1 | F1 and teams protest against FIA’s ‘unacceptable’ attitude

The leaders of Formula 1 and the various teams are said to be “angry and frustrated” with the FIA, which yesterday published the official calendar for the 2023 season including 24 races without the approval of the teams when it is normally a tradition.

The next exercise will begin in Bahrain at the beginning of March before ending in Abu Dhabi at the end of November and will include three race trebles, including one comprising three events contested at the end of the season: Austin, Mexico City and Interlagos. Except that the teams had not yet given their approval for this “triple-header.”

But the FIA ​​therefore took everyone by surprise by unilaterally announcing the calendar on Tuesday, when it should have been revealed only three days later, this Friday.

The discontent would thus quickly rise among the team directors but also on the side of Liberty Media which, usually, publishes a press release attached to that of the FIA. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and his teams were the first to be surprised by this announcement.

Because if the confirmation of the F1 calendar comes ultimately to the FIA, and this through the World Motor Sport Council, it is Liberty Media which is in charge of leading and concluding the agreements with the promoters of Grand Prizes. In a way, the FIA ​​therefore “only” validates a calendar prepared by Liberty Media upstream.

The declaration of Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the president of the FIA, thus irritated, the latter having claimed in his press release that “the arrival of new events and the maintenance of traditional events underline the good management of sport by the FIA.”

A team member, who wished to remain anonymous, described the FIA’s attitude towards F1 and the teams “unacceptable”. The same is true for journalists who are used to traveling to almost every F1 Grand Prix. They are generally notified in advance of the dates in order to reserve hotels and means of transport at reasonable prices. Once the calendar is published, prices soar. For example, three nights around Silverstone went from 750 euros to over 3000 (minimum) once the schedule was confirmed!

It is not the first time this season that the sport’s governing body has drawn the wrath of sports stakeholders. This had created controversy by insisting on the ban on wearing jewelry, or by introducing the Technical Directive aimed at reducing porpoising without going through the F1 Commission.

And more recently, the teams were also upset by the confusion that reigned when determining the starting grids for Spa and Monza, which had taken hours due to the numerous penalties. Not to mention the end of the race behind the safety car in Italy even if, in this case, the regulations had been correctly applied.

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