The FIA, the organization that oversees motorsports, claims that sexist comments attributed to its president "do not reflect his beliefs.".
A quote from Mohammed Ben Sulayem stating that he dislikes "women who think they are smarter than men" can be found on an archived version of his previous website.
He has a proven track record of supporting women's rights and equality in sport, and he is willing to be judged on it, according to a FIA spokesperson. It was a key component of his platform, and his recent actions as well as his lengthy tenure as vice-president for sport attest to this. ".
Since the 61-year-old Emirati became the FIA president in December 2021, senior figures in F1 have discussed the existence of Ben Sulayem's old website and the fact that it contained misogynistic views.
The contents of the website, however, were not made public until The Times made them known on Friday.
According to the newspaper, Ben Sulayem stated on the website that his likes and dislikes are "basically simple" and that he loves the desert and meeting real people. ".
The website continues by stating that he dislikes talking about money and women who believe they are smarter than men because they are not actually so.
The FIA spokesperson stated, "The remarks in this archived website from 2001 do not reflect the president's beliefs. ".
Ben Sulayem did not respond to inquiries about whether the website was his, whether it accurately captured his viewpoints at the time, or why he had changed his mind since then.
Ben Sulayem has been involved in a number of controversies since he was elected president of the FIA, and this latest one is the latest.
He was charged by the owners of F1 earlier this week with making "unacceptable" comments about the worth of the sport.
Ben Sulayem said in a series of tweets that the reported $20 billion price tag was "an inflated price tag" after reading a report that Saudi Arabia attempted to purchase the sport.
A letter of complaint was sent to the FIA Executive and World Motorsport Council in response from the chief legal officers of F1, a commercial rights holder, and Liberty Media, the team's owners.
In addition to stating that Ben Sulayem's remarks "overstepped the bounds of both the FIA's remit and its contractual rights," it also stated that the FIA "may be liable" for any harm to Liberty's value.
Ben Sulayem has also stirred up controversy this year by ostensibly supporting the US-based Andretti organization's effort to establish an 11th F1 team. The majority of the current teams are against it, and Liberty is ambivalent about the bid, noting that other organizations are considering making an entry.
And last year, among other actions that caused concern within Formula One and among the teams, Ben Sulayem initially resisted a unanimous decision to double the number of "sprint" format races in 2023. However, he eventually came around.