Is UAE motorsport boss Bin Sulayem the next FIA presidential candidate?

Jean Todt with Mohammed Bin Sulayem and Bernie Ecclestone

Jean Todt with Mohammed Bin Sulayem and Bernie Ecclestone

A name has now emerged, amid rumours that a third candidate for December’s FIA presidential elections is looming.

That name, mentioned not only by Auto Motor und Sport but also separately by Speed Week; Mohammad Bin Sulayem.

He is known as the highest ranking motor racing official in the United Arab Emirates, and was formerly a strong supporter of Max Mosley.

The 51-year-old, a 14-time Middle East rally champion, became the first Arab named as Vice President of the FIA, and the first to be elected to the FIA World Motor Sport Council. In his FIA role he has pioneered teaching, research and knowledge-transfer initiatives in motor sport.

Mohammed ben Sulayem drives a Ford Focus WRC during the 2001 FIA Middle East Rally of Lebanon

Mohammed bin Sulayem drives a Ford Focus WRC during the 2001
FIA Middle East Rally of Lebanon

Speed Week quoted an insider as saying: “He would be a dangerous rival for Todt and Ward, because there are many out there who would support him more than the Frenchman and his (British) challenger.”

Briton David Ward has already entered the race to dethrone Jean Todt, but Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone this week hinted that a third contender might be waiting in the wings.

“Maybe [Ward’s candidature] has opened the door for other potential candidates,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“They’ll say ‘If he can, I can too’. So we don’t know how many [candidates] there will be in the end. There’s still time to submit a nomination,” Ecclestone added. (GMM)

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