F1 teams back FIA structure changes
By Mat Coch
Monday 27th February, 2023 - 1:43am
The consensus among F1 team bosses is that changes made by the FIA to its structure in recent weeks have been positive.
Earlier this month, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem announced he would step back from having an active role in Formula 1 with Nicholas Tombazis taking a more prominent role, supported by Tim Goss (formerly of McLaren).
Steve Nielson has also joined the governing body, having most recently been sporting director with F1’s commercial rights holder.
The structure changes come after a period of heightened tensions between Formula 1 and the FIA, highlighted by comments made by the president regarding the valuation of the sport.
The changes go some way to clearing the air while simultaneously offering a more logical structure within the FIA.
F1 teams positive on FIA structure
“I think we have a structure now that is very clear,” noted Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
“Nicholas was chairing the last F1 Commission, we have a lot on the agenda, short term and long term, and what we need to try to achieve is to work with each other pragmatically.”
The F1 Commission is a body that includes the teams, the sport’s commercial rights holder (Liberty Media), and the FIA where ideas and issues relating to the sport are discussed and voted upon.
From there new initiatives or changes, especially regulation changes, are submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council to be voted upon before being formally introduced into the sport.
It is therefore a significant body when it comes to the oversight and governance of the sport.
“There’s some big topics that need to be dealt with, particularly 2026, where we just need to make sure that the engine world, the chassis world, and the product of what we want Formula 1 to be all align and marry up,” said Red Bull’s Christian Horner.
“All the departments are well structured for the future,” added Mike Krack, team principal for Aston Martin.
“I think Steve Nielsen is a great addition for the FIA and so looking forward to how this is developing.”
The clarity of the new structure was also important to Ferrari and Alfa Romeo Sauber, who are similarly in favour of the recent changes.
“I think it was a good step to start the season with a clear structure in place,” Vasseur, now at the helm of Ferrari, ventured.
Alessandro Alunni Bravo, the Formula 1 team representative at Alfa Romeo Sauber, shared his colleague’s view.
“We think this is a modern structure that responds to our needs,” he affirmed.
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