Complaints, hints and allegations fester

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 18: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 leads Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-23 at turn one during the F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas at Las Vegas Strip Circuit on November 18, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202311190050 // Usage for editorial use only //

Formula 1 seems intent on making the 2024 season all about investigations, lawsuits, improprieties, leaks and whistle-blowers. If the product on the track isn’t exciting, perhaps political, ethical and economic drama can fill the void and keep the masses entertained for 22 more races.

This week, it was announced that Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the FIA president, was absolved of any wrongdoing with regards to allegations of interference. A 6-person internal panel at the Fia investigated for 30 days with 11 interviews after a whistle-blower said MBS had interfered with a race and tried to prevent the Las Vegas track’s homologation.

Much like the internal Red Bull Racing investigation into Christian Horner’s alleged actions toward an employee, the lack of details has everyone buzzing about what actually happened.

Things don’t stop there because Susie Wolff, the director of the F1 Driver Academy, has now filed a criminal complaint against the FIA. This stemmed from allegations of a conflict of interest due to her husband being Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and that some information may have been shared with Toto by Susie that he shouldn’t have known. Or at least that’s the implication last December.

All the teams denied making any complaints to the FIA about this conflict of interest concern and within 48 hours, the FIA dropped their previously and publicly stated investigation. Not good enough for Wolff as she is now filing a complaint.

While all of this may be fun and salacious, it is becoming tedious to me and boring. This is reaching ludicrous proportions and the next season of DTS stands to be more like an episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Max, Jos, Helmut and unnamed female employee vs Christian. Red Bull majority owner vs minority owners, FIA president vs whistle-blower, Susie Wolff vs FIA president. It seems odd the one people not walking around with a target on them at this point is Formula 1 (Liberty Media). Hmmmm.

Don’t get me wrong, if there is wrongdoing, then that needs to be addressed but for the love of racing, this is becoming boorish and I’m wondering when we can just get back to racing.

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Grumpygrizz

I wonder if some of this stuff is getting so much media attention because the championship is not going to be that interesting at the top until the next regulation changes.

Like would we be seeing all of this if Max and Charles were neck and neck right now?

Peter

You are right. It is tedious and boring… much like the BBC coverage of the last two races which three commentators agreed was “boring.”
Can we just not talk about any of them and concentrat on those bringing the sport into REPUTE? Like Alonso or Bearman (oops, he’s relugated back to F2) or… wait for it… get comic relief with Kimi?