RAC Launches Appropriately Cultured Clash With Formula One Partners
Britain’s oldest motoring organization, the Royal Automobile Club, has "launched a stinging attack" on F1’s governing body about "an alleged lack of disclosure in its accounts," according to Sylt & Reid of the London TELEGRAPH. The FIA, in response, has "issued a strong denial and questioned the motivation behind the allegations which it claims was completely unexpected." The FIA’s annual revenue is understood to be around €60M ($82M) and its biggest expenses "are staff salaries and travel costs." The accounts are "approved by the federation’s 236 members at its annual general assembly." Following the previous meeting, RAC Chair Tom Purves wrote to FIA President Jean Todt "to demand further details about payments" totalling €14.4M ($19.7M). Purves said, "There is a lack of the narrative or detail in the FIA accounts that one would not expect of an international entity, or UK entity." Purves: “As a chairman responsible for the deployment of members’ funds in an appropriate manner, I question the value we receive from our membership fee.” He queries two costs in particular: “Personnel expenses of €6.1 million ($8.3M) and €8.3 million ($11.3M) for travel, missions and conferences.” The FIA’s testy response "came from" decision-making body the Senate President Nick Craw. Craw points out the RAC “was duly represented at the general assemblies relating to the accounts for 2010 and 2011” and had raised no questions (TELEGRAPH, 10/19).
PRESIDENTIAL RACE: In Abu Dhabi, Gary Meenaghan reported FIA VP Mohammed ben Sulayem has confirmed that "he will not run in the upcoming FIA presidential elections and will instead throw his considerable support behind incumbent Jean Todt." The 51-year-old Emirati has been FIA VP since '08, and had been "recently urged by several motorsport federations to challenge" Todt and former British Labour party policy advisor David Ward for election on Dec. 6. However, having analyzed both candidates’ manifestos, Ben Sulayem said he will back Todt, the Frenchman who has led the governing body for global motorsport since '09 (THE NATIONAL 10/18).