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F1 chiefs slam FIA boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem over ‘unacceptable’ claims

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F1 chiefs have hit back at FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s claims that a reported £16bn price tag the sport’s commercial rights is “inflated”.

A report in Bloomberg over the weekend suggested the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) - chaired by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman - have tabled an offer over $20bn (£16bn) to F1 owners Liberty Media for the commercial rights of the sport.Ben Sulayem, head of the sport’s governing body, took to social media to publicise his views, insisting the alleged price tag was “inflated” and any potential buyer needs to “apply common sense...

not just a lot of money.”Now, in the latest example of F1 and the sport’s governing body being at loggerheads, a letter seen by Sky News sent by F1 legal supremo Sacha Woodward Hill and Renee Wilm, chief legal and administrative officer of Liberty Media Corporation, has accused the FIA and its president of “interfering with our [commercial] rights in an unacceptable manner.” The letter, sent to F1 teams including Ferrari and Mercedes according to the Sky report, states that: “Formula 1 has the exclusive right to exploit the commercial rights in the FIA Formula One World Championship.“Further, the FIA has given unequivocal undertakings that it will not do anything to prejudice the ownership, management and/or exploitation of those rights.

We consider that those comments, made from the FIA president’s official social media account, interfere with those rights in an unacceptable manner.”The letter goes on to insist that Ben Sulayem had “overstepped the bounds of the FIA’s remit”, adding the notion that “any potential purchaser of the Formula 1 business is required to consult with the FIA is wrong”.It concluded: “Any individual or

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