FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem welcomes Cadillac and Andretti partnership’s intent to enter Formula One

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the FIA
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Updated 16 January 2023
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FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem welcomes Cadillac and Andretti partnership’s intent to enter Formula One

  • Panthera Team Asia hopes to add an Asian-focused team from 2026

DUBAI: President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile Mohammed Ben Sulayem has welcomed the news of the Cadillac and Andretti partnership’s intention to enter the Formula One World Championship along with a renewed bid from Panthera Team Asia.

The announcement comes in the wake of the FIA’s invitation calling for Expressions of Interest for prospective new teams to enter the World Championship.

The invitation for Expressions of Interest remains open and follows on from the announcement last year of Audi’s commitment to enter the World Championship in 2026, which will coincide with new Power Unit regulations.

General Motors’ intention to enter in 2026 will see Cadillac make its F1 debut, 124 years after the company was founded, and will expand its current motorsport program, which includes entries in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the North American-based IMSA endurance racing series.

“I asked my FIA team to look at launching an Expressions of Interest process and welcome the news of the Cadillac and Andretti partnership. The FIA looks forward to further discussions on the FIA F1 World Championship Expressions of Interest process,” Ben Sulayem said.

The president also expressed his surprise at some adverse reactions to the Cadillac/Andretti announcement, adding that the news of new teams entering should be encouraged by all.

“The FIA has accepted entries of smaller, successful organizations in recent years, and we should be encouraging prospective F1 entries from global manufacturers like General Motors and thoroughbred racers like Andretti Global and others. Interest from teams in growth markets adds diversity and broadens F1’s appeal, and it is surprising that there has been some adverse reaction to this announcement,” Ben Sulayem said.

“We’re talking about credibility with this process because when somebody enquires, they need to show commitment for the long term to help sustain the sport, and the way we do that is by having credible OEMs, so I’m talking about General Motors, one of the five biggest in the world.

“We have to encourage people like GM President Mark Reuss, who are proposing a big team from the US because this is important for F1, and I can see that we have previously accepted some good teams, but they are not as big as GM. There is a lot of due diligence, the governance is there and if they succeed, we want them to succeed, and I’m sure that Liberty would also like to see this.”

Panthera Team Asia also accepted the invitation after an initial attempt to enter F1 in 2019 was delayed due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The arrival of Zhou Guanyu as F1’s first Chinese driver and Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda renewing his contract with the AlphaTauri team were seen as positive indicators for Panthera to add an Asian-focused team to the World Championship.

“I believe that we have not scratched the surface in Asia. There are 2.8 billion people between China and India alone and yet the number of sporting licenses issued for both regions combined is under 1,000 or less than Finland,” Ben Sulayem said.

“If China enters F1 with a Chinese manufacturer, driver and an event, this is incredibly encouraging but equally, I respect existing teams’ budgets, and if I am convinced that any new entity does not consist of the right people or the right team, then we will protect the sport from having someone trying to enter who is not serious,” he added.

The precise terms of the conditions of an Expression of Interest will be made available to applicants in due course and cover areas including the technical ability and resources of the team; the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the championship at a competitive level; the team’s experience and human resources; and the assessment of the value that the candidate may bring to the championship.

Any additional entries would build on the positive acceptance of the FIA’s 2026 Power Unit regulations, which has already attracted an entry from Audi.

“Any Expressions of Interest process will follow strict FIA protocol and will take several months and any additional entries would build on the positive acceptance of the FIA’s 2026 PU regulations among manufacturers, which has already attracted an entry from Audi,” Ben Sulayem said.

The 2023 F1 World championship begins with pre-season testing in Bahrain on Feb. 23, with the first round of the championship starting on March 3 in Sakhir for the F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.


Saudi youth weightlifters take second place at world championships in Peru

Updated 5 sec ago
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Saudi youth weightlifters take second place at world championships in Peru

  • The event, held in Peru, concluded on Monday and featured teams from 51 countries

RIYADH: The Saudi national youth weightlifting team finished second in the World Youth Weightlifting Championships.

The event, held in Peru, concluded on Monday and featured teams from 51 countries.

The Saudi weightlifters totalled 498 points in finishing behind the Georgian team, with 539 points, while the Mexican team came third with 364 points, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Saudi team was represented at the tournament by Mohammed Al-Ajyan; Mohammed Al-Wubari; Abdullah Al-Muhaimid; Ali Al-Hawar; Mohammed Al-Zuri; Mohammed Al-Haliw; Abbas Al-Mahdi; Abdullah Al-Qaisum; and Muntazer Al-Mohsen.

The Saudi lifters won three silver medals and a bronze medal.

 


Joy for Jesus as Al-Hilal complete Saudi Pro League campaign unbeaten

Updated 36 min 54 sec ago
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Joy for Jesus as Al-Hilal complete Saudi Pro League campaign unbeaten

  • New champions beat A-Wehda 2-1 on the final day of the 2023-24 season

RIYADH: Al-Hilal’s coach, Jorge Jesus, on Monday night expressed his joy after his title-winning team beat Al-Wehda 2-1 to end the 2023-24 Saudi Pro League season without a loss.

Jesus said he is enjoying the best days of his career with the Riyadh giants.

Mohammed Kanno gave Al-Hilal a 19th-minute lead, with the home team equalizing in the 77th minute through fellow Saudi international Yahya Al-Najei. But Aleksandar Mitrovic scored in stoppage time to ensure a final-day win for the “Invincibles.”

“We were keen to end our last match in the league with a victory to preserve this exceptional league season, during which we broke records after gaining 96 points, achieved the largest victory in a single match, and we also finished the league without a loss,” Jesus said.

“I experienced many happy moments during my career with the clubs I coached, but my happiness with Al-Hilal is more than wonderful, especially in this exceptional season,” he concluded.


Top Saudi clubs expanding into community-building programs

Updated 47 min 40 sec ago
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Top Saudi clubs expanding into community-building programs

  • Al-Hilal FC, Al-Nassr, Ittihad and Ahli are leading the push in corporate social responsibility

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development announced this month the launch of its first Corporate Social Responsibility Awards 2024, marking a new age of sustainable development and community involvement in the Kingdom.

The CSR initiative recognizes and inspires private-sector firms corresponding to Saudi Vision 2030’s social responsibility objectives. It promotes local initiatives to implement international standards, encourage competition, and set exemplary corporate practices.
Saudi Arabia’s sports clubs, traditionally focused on sports, entertainment, and culture, are now expanding to include community-building programs. The CSR Awards 2024 will focus on these efforts, recognizing initiatives that promote social development and local progress outside of sports.
Teams including Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Ittihad and Ahli are leading the push in CSR. They are making significant progress in youth development, health promotion, and environmental sustainability. From grassroots football programs for poor children to scholarships for promising young players from disadvantaged backgrounds, these efforts are consistent with Vision 2030’s emphasis on economic diversification and social transformation.
Furthermore, European and Asian examples demonstrate how sports clubs advocate sustainability programs with broad reach and impact. Forest Green Rovers of England is the world’s first UN-certified carbon-neutral football team. Their environmentally friendly methods, such as an organic pitch and solar-powered facilities, have spurred others to pursue greener strategies.

FC Bayern Munich in Germany exemplifies how clubs may incorporate sustainability into their operations, with efforts such as the Allianz Arena’s energy-efficient architecture and recycling programs setting a high bar for environmental care.
Japan’s Kashima Antlers have introduced innovative sustainability techniques, such as rainwater harvesting and LED lighting systems, to reduce their environmental imprint in Asia.

Also, China’s Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC has conducted large tree-planting projects to help with reforestation and ecological conservation.
The ministry hopes to develop a culture in which social impact is synonymous with financial success, resulting in a more socially responsible economic landscape in Saudi Arabia.
The award criteria include community engagement, environmental sustainability, and ethical governance, emphasizing the organizational benefit of CSR activities. Sports clubs, as role models for other businesses, have a unique power to promote social ideals and effect constructive change.
Furthermore, communication and social media are essential in promoting CSR efforts, raising awareness, and mobilizing support. Platforms such as X, Instagram, and Facebook let clubs promote their sustainability efforts, communicate with followers, and increase their impact, resulting in a more inclusive and sustainable future.
With good communication, CSR programs in sports teams can indirectly enhance profitability by improving brand recognition, increasing fan engagement, attracting sponsorship, and lowering costs through energy efficiency and regulatory compliance.

All while offering access to funds and grants, these additional financial resources can help the club’s operations and allow for more investment in CSR efforts, promoting long-term sustainability.
Embracing Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s sports clubs are helping to reshape the country and pave the road for a more socially responsible and sustainable society.

These clubs demonstrate sports’ transformative ability to generate positive social change through their persistent dedication to CSR activities. As they continue on this journey, they will inspire others and set new standards for CSR excellence, paving the way for future generations.


‘Happy’ Ronaldo confirms SPL top scorer award as he looks ahead to King’s Cup final

Updated 49 min 31 sec ago
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‘Happy’ Ronaldo confirms SPL top scorer award as he looks ahead to King’s Cup final

  • Two goals in 4-2 win over Ittihad takes Al-Nassr captain to 35 league goals for the season
  • It is the sixth time in Ronaldo’s career that he has finished a league campaign as top scorer

RIYADH: Al-Nassr captain Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday night notched a brace in the 4-2 win over Al-Ittihad in Riyadh to close out the 2023-24 Saudi Pro League season with 35 goals and clinch the top scorer award.

Ronaldo opened the scoring is stoppage time of the first half and doubled the lead in the 69th minute. Al-Nassr’s other goals came from Abdulrahman Ghareeb (penalty, 79) and Meshari Al-Nemer (95), while Al-Ittihad’s goals came from Farhah Al-Shamrani (88) and Fabinho (92).

 

 

Ronaldo’s final tally broke the previous record held by Abderrazak Hamdallah, who scored 34 for Al-Nassr in 2018-19, and was also the sixth time in the Portuguese legend’s career that he has finished a domestic league season as top scorer.

Before joining the Yellows in January 2023, Ronaldo had finished top scorer in league campaigns for Sporting Lisbon in his native Portugal, Manchester United in the English Premier League, three times for Real Madrid in Spain and once with Juventus in Italy.

“I am very happy to end the season with a victory, as well as with my record, which I was not expecting, but it is very important in my career,” Ronaldo said after the win over the Tigers.

“We finished the league well, and now our goal is to win the King’s Cup, and I expect the team to give its best to achieve the title.”


Boston Celtics sweep Indiana Pacers to reach NBA finals

Updated 28 May 2024
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Boston Celtics sweep Indiana Pacers to reach NBA finals

  • The Celtics will face the winner of the Western Conference finals, where the Dallas Mavericks hold a 3-0 over the Minnesota Timberwolves

WASHINGTON: The Boston Celtics clinched the Eastern Conference championship on Monday with a 105-102 win over the Indiana Pacers, sweeping the series 4-0 and booking a spot in the NBA Finals.
The Celtics will face the winner of the Western Conference finals, where the Dallas Mavericks hold a 3-0 over the Minnesota Timberwolves ahead of Tuesday’s game four.
The Celtics win in Indianapolis was their seventh straight in the post-season but they left it late against a Pacers team again without injured star guard Tyrese Haliburton.
Jaylen Brown once again proved decisive.
He hit a step through to level at 102-102 with 2:40 left in the fourth, then superbly rose to block Andrew Nembhard at the rim.
With 45 seconds remaining Brown found Derrick White in the corner who sank the three-point jumper that ultimately clinched the game.
Nembhard, who had 24 points, 10 assists and six rebounds for the Pacers, missed a three-pointer with 33 seconds left which would have tied the game.
Brown led Boston’s scoring with 29 points and Jayson Tatum had 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
The Celtics return to the finals two years after losing to the Golden State Warriors as they search for their first NBA title since 2008.
“It’s been nothing but a grind, we haven’t skipped no steps all season,” said Brown, who was named the Eastern Conference finals MVP.
“We’ve got a bunch of great guys in this locker room, tough guys. Our coaching staff has been great, front office great and now we want to take the next step,” he added.
It was the third time in the four series games that Indiana had lost after holding leads or being tied in the final minute of a game.
“Expectations will be raised for next year, which is good,” said Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle.
“There are challenges to meet over the summer for our guys to get better, all of us involved need to get better,” he added.