FIA president Mohammed Ben Sul ayem is under investigation for allegedly interfering with the result of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The race in question saw Fernando Alonso given a 10-second time penalty shortly after finishing third due to Aston Martin being judged to have touched Alonso’s car with the rear jack while serving an earlier five-second penalty at a pit stop during the race. The team appealed the decision, and it was overturned by the stewards later that same night, with the following reasoning given:

“Having reviewed the new evidence, we concluded that there was no clear agreement, as was suggested to the stewards previously, that could be relied upon to determine that parties had agreed that a jack touching a car would amount to working on the car.

“In the circumstances, we considered that our original decision to impose a penalty on Car 14 needed to be reversed and we did so accordingly.”

The BBC reports that a whistleblower has now triggered a report by FIA compliance officer Paolo Basarri – since submitted to the governing body’s ethics committee – that alleges Ben Sulayem called an FIA official who was at the race and said he thought the penalty should be overturned.

According to the BBC, the report says the whistleblower claims that Ben Sulayem “pretended the stewards to overturn their decision to issue” the penalty to Alonso.

RACER has not seen the FIA report, but senior figures within the sport have verified its existence and say they are concerned by the allegation.

The FIA declined to comment at this stage when contacted by RACER.