F1 LIVE: FIA boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem under fire after £16bn buyout claims

F1 LIVE: FIA boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem under fire after £16bn buyout claims

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.”

Follow all the latest news from the world of Formula 1 with The Independent

F1 NEWS AND UPDATES

F1 news: When are F1 teams launching their 2023 cars?

17:44 , Kieran Jackson

The 2023 Formula 1 season starts on 5 March in Bahrain – and preparations are well underway ahead of the new campaign.

All 10 teams have had more than two months since the final race of 2022 in Abu Dhabi and are set to reveal their new cars in the next few weeks, with pre-season testing taking place at the Bahrain International Circuit from 23-25 February.

Red Bull will be the first team to reveal their 2023 design next month, in New York City no less, while all eyes will be on Mercedes’ W14 car after their bouncing and porpoising problems in 2022.

Meanwhile, Ferrari will be looking to produce a car capable of race wins once again as they launch their 2023 model, while the likes of McLaren, Alpine and Aston Martin are all striving for improvements this season.

Here are the 2023 car launch dates in chronological order:

Red Bull – Friday February 3 (New York)

Williams – Monday February 6 (online)

Alfa Romeo – Tuesday February 7 (Zurich)

AlphaTauri – Saturday February 11 (New York)

Aston Martin – Monday February 13 (Silverstone)

McLaren – Monday February 13 (location TBC)

Ferrari – Tuesday February 14 (location TBC)

Mercedes – Wednesday February 15 (Silverstone)

Alpine – Thursday February 16 (London)

Haas – TBC

F1 news: F1 Drive to Survive – Season 5 release date and everything we know

17:29 , Kieran Jackson

Drive to Survive will soon return to Netflix once again as is annual tradition. Season five will be here next month and the streaming platform has also shared a teaser trailer.

Season four looked back on the explosive 2021 season where Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton went toe-to-toe and pushed each other so hard they went into the final race of the season on equal points. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix turned into one of the most controversial sports moments as Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the last lap.

While Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes did not challenge for the title in 2022, the team did progress as the season went on. It was a year when Red Bull and Verstappen dominated after a bright start from Ferrari fell away as their strategy decisions were repeatedly scrutinised.

Verstappen’s eventual crowning as back-to-back champion was not without controversy though as the Dutchman did not even know he was World Champion until he was told by race officials. While waiting in the cooldown room to take his place atop the podium in Japan, he was told that he had won the Drivers Championship, causing confusion as he asked “are you sure?”

The confusion stemmed from a rain-soaked race where full points were not awarded due to the number of laps completed.

When will it be released?

The fifth season of the hit documentary will be released on 24 February 2023.

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