The FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has stepped back from the day-to-day running of Formula 1 ahead of the new season I “My stated objective was to be a non-executive president via the recruitment of a team of professional managers, which has now been largely completed”
Last Updated: 08/02/23 12:37pm
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has sent a letter to F1 team bosses in which he has decided to relinquish the hands-on running of the governing body.
Sulayem, who was elected the president of F1’s governing body in December 2021, and quickly outlined a plan to restructure the FIA’s F1 operations.
But the 61-year-old Emirati will now only concentrate on “strategic matters” going forward, with director of single-seater racing Nikolas Tombazis taking over the “day-to-day” running.
Sky Sports News understands multiple figures from FIA’s world motorsport council, many of them heads of national associations – raised concerns with Sulayem and offered advice after recent controversies.
The FIA have said this move was already planned as “the natural next step”.
In a letter to the 10 teams, he said: “My stated objective was to be a non-executive president via the recruitment of a team of professional managers, which has now been largely completed.
“Therefore, going forward, your day-to-day contact for all matters on F1 will be with Nikolas (Tombazis, director of single-seater racing) and his team, while I will focus on strategic matters with my leadership team.”
Sulayem took a centre-stage approach throughout the 2022 season and regularly made podium appearances and engaged with drivers on the grid.
The FIA statement read: “The president’s manifesto clearly set out this plan before he was elected – it pledged “the appointment of an FIA CEO to provide an integrated and aligned operation,” as well as to “introduce a revised governance framework” under “a leadership team focused on transparency, democracy, and growth.”
“These goals, as well as the announcement of the new structure of the single-seater department, have been planned since the beginning of this presidency.
“The FIA president has a wide remit that covers the breadth of global motor sport and mobility, and now that the structural reorganisation in Formula 1 is complete, this is a natural next step.”