He was already in Portugal last year, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the World Championship, but he missed Mohammed Ben Sulayem in the rallies. And that the president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) comes from the specialty of timed sections, where he achieved 14 titles in the Middle East during his time as a pilot.
“I have never strayed from rallying”, explained. “When I see the cars, the stages… it’s incredible. I want to come more to the rallies and get involved because they are different and it is the specialty that has shaped my personality. Also, I need them, because Formula 1 consumes me ”, He recognized smiling and hinting that it was a joke.
Regarding hybrid cars, he assured that “It was necessary to make a change to get more sustainable cars. But there will be more changes. We want to have flexibility and we are open to new ideas, although I think three brands is a good turnout and the current rules are correct. But we should also recover good things from the past. Technology should not be held back by looking for a good balance with costs. We have a dynamic sport in which you have to decide quickly, but make the right decisions”.
Regarding his visit to the stages, Sulayem acknowledged that “the streaming broadcasts are very good, and perhaps they have reduced viewers in the timed specials. And this shows us a path: marketing must be improved to achieve greater goals. Countries like China or the United States have many car manufacturers, although the problem is logistics when it comes to making big leaps between continents”.
After seeing a couple of stages and being with the best drivers in the tire change area that divided Saturday’s stage of the Monte Carlo Rally, he seemed happy. And philosophical: “Everyone changes, the drivers, the brands, the organizers, the promoters… but the FIA is always there.” And, in fact, although for the first time after the different European presidents a citizen from Dubai has taken command, the entity is facing a period of great changes due to the new automotive trends. “We have overcome the Covid and now we have to deal with the Ukrainian War. But we will move on,” concluded the president.