Ben Sulayem from the United Arab Emirates replaces Todt as FIA President


  • Ben Sulayem wins FIA presidential election
  • Emirates replaces the retired Frenchman Jean Todt

PARIS, December 17 (Reuters) – Mohammed Ben Sulayem of the United Arab Emirates will become the first non-European president of the World Motor Sport Federation after his election on Friday, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced.

He replaces the 75-year-old Frenchman Jean Todt, who is retiring after three terms.

The 60-year-old Dubai-born former rally driver took on British lawyer Graham Stoker, who has been Todt’s vice president of sport since 2009.

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The FIA ​​is, among other things, the umbrella organization for Formula 1, the World Rally Championship, World Endurance and Formula E.

“The votes were received and we won. We are delighted that 62% of all clubs have given us their vote,” said Ben Sulayem’s “FIA for Members” campaign on Twitter. An FIA spokesman confirmed the result.

Formula 1 will be high on Ben Sulayem’s list of immediate sporting priorities after last Sunday’s season-end race in Abu Dhabi ended in turmoil after a safety car change led to Red Bulls Max Verstappen claiming the title .

FIA Race Director Michael Masi was at the center of the controversy. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the Australian had “stolen” an eighth record title from his driver Lewis Hamilton. Continue reading

The governing body has agreed to examine the decision-making process and the clarification of the rules.

Ben Sulayem, previously FIA Vice President and member of the World Motor Sport Council, has the Brazilian Fabiana Ecclestone, the wife of former Formula 1 Supremo Bernie, on his team. She becomes Vice President for Sports in South America.

Robert Reid, co-driver of the late British World Rally Champion Richard Burns, will take on the role of Deputy Sports President.

The French Todt stood without resistance in 2017. He remains honorary president.

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Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Jason Neely and Ken Ferris

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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