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Former advisor to Toto Wolff given top FIA role

NEWS STORY
01/06/2022

Shaila-Ann Rao, who previously worked with Mercedes and as Special Advisor to Toto Wolff, has been appointed interim secretary general of the FIA.

Rao replaces Peter Bayer, who served as Secretary General for Sport since 2017 and also as F1 Executive Director since 2021, having been appointed to that role in the wake of the Abu Dhabi race. Indeed, it was Bayer who led the subsequent investigation in to events surrounding the controversial Grand Prix.

While many still question what happened that night and the findings of the investigation, Bayer, working on the instructions of FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem was responsible for the recruitment of Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas as race directors, and the implementation of a remote operations centre (ROC) at the FIA's Geneva headquarters.

Since 2017, Bayer helped supervise the building of the single-seater pyramid from Karting to F1, the creation of the new World Rally-Raid Championship, as well as improving safety and sustainability in all disciplines.

He will be replaced on an interim basis by Shaila-Ann Rao, who has just returned to the FIA having previously held the position of FIA Legal Director from mid-2016 to end 2018, before spending the past three and a half years with Mercedes Grand Prix as consecutively General Counsel and then Special Advisor to their CEO & Team Principal Toto Wolff.

The fact that Shaila-Ann Rao is an interim replacement suggests that Bayer's departure was not pre-planned indeed the tone of the FIA's announcement is quite impersonal.

Since the appointment of Wittich and Freitas there have been numerous controversies, not least the events surrounding the start of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix and the ongoing drive against jewellery and unsanctioned underwear.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Tardis40, 04/06/2022 20:11

"The Fix is in"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Burton, 03/06/2022 16:33

"Calling Anneliese Dodds, calling Anneliese Dooooooods...!!!"

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3. Posted by Editor, 02/06/2022 9:32

"@ Italian Job

EVERYTHING winds up Helmut Marko"

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4. Posted by Italian Job, 02/06/2022 9:17

"I wonder if this will wind up Helmut Marko?"

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5. Posted by kdxrider, 01/06/2022 16:47

"Well this will get the anti-Merc crowd salivating "

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6. Posted by Roli, 01/06/2022 15:52

"Theres a few rotten apples falling out of the tree at FIA....."

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