FIA President Ben Sulayem addresses fan concerns over Red Bull’s dominance in F1

Oscar Piastri, McLaren, 2nd position, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Lando Norris, McLaren, 3rd position, celebrate on the podium (

The 2023 Formula 1 season has been marked by Red Bull Racing’s near-complete dominance, as they have clinched both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships with five races remaining. This level of dominance has led to a decline in fan interest, with a notable drop in social media engagement. As a result, some have suggested that Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, should intervene to create a more competitive field for the 2024 season. However, FIA President Ben Sulayem is clear that the organization will not take actions aimed at deliberately restraining a successful team.

Sulayem emphasized that the FIA will not punish success, citing examples of previous dominant periods in Formula 1, such as those led by Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher. He expressed openness to suggestions that would promote fairness and competition without penalizing successful teams. He stated, “I’m open for suggestions if you think that there is a way to be fair and to be democratic, and not to just punish Max and his team or any other team. We’re all ears here really. But I’m stuck like you. There’s no way that the FIA will punish success, and it [one driver dominance] has happened before twice in my time.”

While the FIA won’t interfere to manipulate competition, it is exploring ways to enhance overtaking for the 2025 season. The 2022 ground effect regulations were introduced to improve cars’ ability to follow each other, but their effectiveness has diminished. The FIA’s focus is on mitigating the impact of team efforts to enhance individual performance on raceability, which has created challenges for overtaking. Teams have mastered out-wash characteristics, which divert disturbed airflow away from the car to reduce drag but make it harder for trailing cars to follow closely.

Sulayem acknowledged that teams are pushing boundaries, forcing the FIA to respond, but he views this as a positive aspect. He believes that teams’ innovations elevate the sport, making it more competitive and fostering creativity and challenge. Sulayem sees it as a learning process where the FIA needs to stay ahead and find solutions to address the evolving dynamics in Formula 1.