Wednesday, April 24, 2024

FIA dominates F1 ahead of Saudi Arabian GP


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Jeddah, March 7: All the action in Formula 1 is happening off the track.
World champion Max Verstappen’s father wants to oust the boss of Red Bull, the team that took his son to three consecutive titles. The president of the governing body has reportedly been accused of interfering in one race and trying to stop the Las Vegas street course from being certified for racing. Half the grid is chasing the Mercedes seat that will be empty when Lewis Hamilton leaves at the end of the year.
With so much drama in the paddock, Verstappen’s runaway victory at the season-opener in Bahrain last weekend was the least dramatic moment of the past month.
When asked after the opener if Verstappen will cruise to a fourth straight title, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said, “Unfortunately, yes.” Practice in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah begins on Thursday with F1 dogged by unresolved tension and open conflict. After a years-long boom thanks to Netflix smash hit “Drive to Survive,” F1 has never felt more like a reality show than it does right now.
First, there’s the turmoil at Red Bull despite Verstappen’s win by more than 22 seconds over teammate Sergio Perez. Team principal Christian Horner remains in charge a week after the team’s parent company dismissed a complaint that alleged misconduct by Horner toward a team employee. He has denied wrongdoing.A day after Horner was cleared, a file alleged to contain evidence against Horner was emailed to nearly 200 people in the F1 paddock, including Liberty Media, F1, the FIA, the other nine team principals and multiple media outlets.The authenticity of the files has not been verified by The Associated Press, and the file came from a generic email account. Titled “Christian Horner investigation evidence,” the file was sent in the middle of a practice session.Shortly after Verstappen’s win in Bahrain, Horner pledged to stand firm “100%” at Red Bull, adding: “There was a full lengthy internal process that was completed by an independent KC and the grievance that was raised was dismissed. End of. Move on.” But F1 hasn’t moved on. (AP)


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