until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

FIA reveals new F1 structure after Ben Sulayem’s review

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

The FIA has pledged increased “investment and resources” to governing Formula 1 and revised the structure of its F1 operations.

F1’s governing body says the “significant updates” are the outcome of a review of its internal procedures instigated by president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and that the reorganisation has already been completed following a “transitional period”.

Former FIA technical head Nikolas Tombazis has been given a new role as single-seater director, which places him at the top of this new structure.

There are four key roles that will report to Tombazis, who believes the changes will take the FIA “to the next level”.

He is replaced as FIA technical director by Tim Goss, the ex-McLaren technical director who joined the FIA in 2021 and worked as Tombazis’ deputy.

Former sporting director Francois Sicard is now in a newly-created role of strategy and operations director. The FIA says this makes him “responsible for long-term strategic planning and also key trackside activities and logistics”.

Sicard joined the FIA last year having previously been in charge of the successful DAMS racing organisation.

He is replaced as sporting director by long-time F1 man Steve Nielsen (pictured below with Ben Sulayem), who assumes responsibility for the “ongoing development of race control and the remote operations centre, as well as future updates to the sporting regulations”.

Xpb 1186598 Hires

The other major role in the structure is financial director, which will be held by Federico Lodi, who has led the financial regulations team at the FIA since its inception ahead of the budget cap in 2021.

Ben Sulayem says “a lot of time and effort” has gone into these changes and will hope that they have the desired effect of making the FIA more robust after a stormy start to his presidency.

He inherited an under-fire governing body that had clearly struggled to find replacements who could adequately handle the many responsibilities held by the late, popular Charlie Whiting until his death on the eve of the 2019 season.

There were signs of progress within the FIA in 2022 but still clear problem areas as well, such as the rotating race director set-up that was abandoned shortly before the end of the season (but is likely to return in the future).

Within this restructuring, Nielsen is a significant recruit for the FIA given his experience within F1 and standing within the championship.

It is understood he was effectively offered to the FIA to improve its on-site team at grands prix, as indicated by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali greeting the announcement with his “full support” and stating it “will assist the FIA in its ongoing efforts to improve their operations during race weekends”.

Nielsen is the second major FOM figure to leave F1 itself recently as sporting boss Ross Brawn has retired. F1 says it will communicate its own operational changes soon.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks