Euro Canals News

Your most trusted news channel

Tensions between FIA and F1 bosses are “on the edge” as cracks begin to open in the “fractious” relationship, according to Karun Chandhok. The former F1 driver stressed both sides were now in an “open war” for control of F1 on the eve of the new season.

It comes after a string of conflicts between the sides in recent weeks with the gap appearing to be widening. He told Sky Sports: “I think certainly the relationship is on the edge at the moment between the FIA and Formula One.

“I think publicly last year they were playing nice, although we all know from within the paddock and behind the scenes it was all getting a bit fractious, but from the letters that have been fired across it’s clear now it’s open war.” F1 boss Stefano Domenicali has appeared to side with the drivers on FIA’s decision to silence protests ahead of races.

The CEO has admitted to holding talks with the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association after complaints from key drivers and team bosses at car launches. It comes after the FIA announced plans to stop personal actions ahead of races in a bid to keep the sport “neutral”.

READ MORE: F1 team boss claims Mohammed ben Sulayem ‘has to go’ as pressure rises

F1 and FIA have also clashed over the handling of new entries in the sport. Mohammed ben Sulayem has backed Andretti Cadillac’s new bid to join the grid and opened expressions of interest to join the series.

However, F1 issued a lukewarm response to Andretti’s tie-in with the American brand and reiterated teams needed to agree before a new constructor could join. Perhaps most importantly, there has been a disagreement over control in F1 after Ben Sulayem branded a potential £16billion ($20b) Saudi Arabina takeover bid as “inflated”.

F1 threatened legal action over the comments and suggested they had “exclusive” rights to market the sport. But, Ben Sulayem hit back that the series was the FIA’s and was only on loan to the commercial rights holder.

Fred Vasseur left ‘convinced’ as storm around FIA president rages on [INSIGHT]
Helmut Marko slams FIA over new rule change set to impact Hamilton [ANALYSIS]
Christian Horner calls out Ben Sulayem amid uncertainty over Andretti [COMMENT]

It’s now been claimed that F1 owners Liberty Media want to axe Ben Sulayem from the role. German site Sport1 has suggested former Prodrive boss David Richards would be their preferred replacement.

However, Chandhok has appeared to side with Domenciali as he confirmed FIA had no rights to the sport’s value until the next century. He added: “I think the President of the FIA put some very strong tweets out which the owners of Formula One and Formula One boss Stefano Domenicali didn’t take that well.

“It seems a degree of confusion as to Mohammed Ben Sulayem, implying that the FIA somehow should have control over the value of F1 and who it was sold to, but actually the 100-year agreement that was signed famously between Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley, awarded effectively a lease to Formula One Management and that runs till 2110.”