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F1 management and FIA reach peace agreement to stop infighting and align on behalf of global series

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The contempt between Formula 1 and its governing body has softened, with both sides announcing Wednesday they've agreed “to commit to a strategic plan for the future of F1.”

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem told The Associated Press at the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month that his relationship with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali “has never been better” and the two were working to further strengthen an alliance.

In a Wednesday statement given to the AP on behalf of both the FIA and Formula One Management, the two sides announced they have developed a working relationship to benefit F1.

“The FIA Formula 1 World Championship has never been so strong and is growing globally, and the FIA and Formula 1 are committed to delivering the best outcomes for the whole sport,” the statement said. “To that end, both parties are developing a new strategic plan that will allow us to seize the opportunities and further enhance the potential for F1 in the years ahead.”

FOM and the FIA, specifically Ben Sulayem, have been at odds since he was elected president following the controversial 2021 season finale at Abu-Dhabi. Issues have ranged from Ben Sulayem's ban on drivers wearing jewelry in the car or making political statements to F1's belief that Ben Sulayem put the series' finances at risk when he publicly questioned overall value estimations.

A whistleblower also filed two complaints against Ben Sulayem alleging interference during the 2023 season. The FIA investigated and cleared Ben Sulayem of any wrongdoing.

But the biggest issue between the factions had been how each side has received Michael Andretti and General Motors' request to expand the F1 grid to include a two-car Cadillac-backed American team. Ben Sulayem not only opened a process for Andretti to apply to join F1, but he approved Andretti and is openly supportive of both brands joining the series.

FOM and the existing 10 teams have been outspoken in their desire to keep the grid at 10 teams so as not to dilute the financial pot. FOM also has questioned Andretti's ability to be competitive at the top level of motorsports and rejected the Andretti application.

The Andretti situation was not addressed by either side in the statement. Andretti and Cadillac officials met with both FOM and the FIA while at the Miami Grand Prix.

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AP Formula 1: https://apnews.com/hub/formula-one