FIA president was in hospital after being taken ill and suffering a concussion

Mohammed Ben Sulayem was taken ill and suffered a concussion earlier this week, an FIA spokesperson has confirmed. This will impact the president’s involvement in Friday evening’s FIA Prize Gala.

In a statement released by an FIA spokesperson on Friday, it was revealed: “Several days ago the president took ill and suffered a fall and concussion. He received care in hospital and will make a full recovery.”

This will have an impact on the proceedings of the Prize Gala and while Ben Sulayem will still attend, he “will do a lot less than initially planned” during the evening’s celebrations. 

Ben Sulayem has been at the centre of a media storm over the past few days after the FIA launched an investigation into Susie and Toto Wolff following a report published in Business F1 magazine.

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The initial report suggested that comments made by the Mercedes team principal had alarmed other team bosses, who in turn had lodged complaints with the FIA. However, after the investigation into the couple was launched, all nine other teams issued a coordinated statement claiming that they had no problem with the matter, handing their public support to Susie.

This has prompted a furious response from the Mercedes camp with Toto issuing a statement on Friday explaining: “We understand that there is significant media interest in the events of this week.

“We are currently in active legal exchange with the FIA. We await full transparency about what took place and have expressly reserved all legal rights. Therefore we ask for your understanding that we will not be commenting officially for now, but will certainly address the matter in due course.”

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Even stronger was Susie’s statement, which she put out after the FIA confirmed that they had concluded their short investigation into the situation.

“We have come a long way as a sport,” she explained in her statement. “I was extremely thankful for the unified support of the Formula 1 teams. I have worked with so many passionate women and men at F1 and the FIA, who have the very best interests of our sport at heart.

“However, this episode has so far taken place without transparency or accountability. I received online abuse about my work and my family. I will not allow myself to be intimidated and intend to follow up until I have found out who has instigated this campaign and misled the media. What happened this week is simply not good enough. As a sport, we must demand, and we deserve, better.”

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