FIA members have voted Mohammed Ben Sulayem as the new FIA president following today’s election at the general assembly.
Ben Sulayem’s campaign secured 62% of the vote, his team confirmed in a statement, meaning he has won the right to replace outgoing FIA president Jean Todt, who stepped down today after completing three full terms in the role.
After a campaign run under the slogan of ‘FIA for members’, Ben Sulayem has been seen as the candidate offering a greater departure from the governance of Todt, whom his opponent, Stoker, served as deputy president for sport under throughout the Frenchman’s tenure.
“I am truly honoured to be elected president of the FIA,” Ben Sulayem said in a post on social media. “Thank you all so much. I am humbled by the trust you’ve placed in me and the team and we pledge to govern in the interests of all members.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to Jean Todt for his leadership over the past 12 years, and commend Graham Stoker on his campaign. We look forward to working with all who seek the betterment of this Federation we all love.”
A former rally driver, UAE citizen Ben Sulayem won the Middle East Rally Championship 14 times between 1986 and 2002 and entered a number of World Rally Championship events in the early nineties, taking multiple class wins in the Group N category.
Outside of his racing career, Ben Sulayem had previously served on the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council and completed a term as FIA’s vice-president for sport, before serving as vice-president for mobility and tourism from 2013-17.
Todt’s 12-year tenure as president was largely viewed as being one of progress for the governing body. He proved a less controversial leader than his predecessor Max Mosley and delivered progress particularly in the areas of safety and promoting more sustainable motorsport.
However the governing body’s most prominent series, Formula 1, was rocked by the controversial end to its championship on Sunday. That led Todt to persuade the FIA to deliver a “detailed analysis and clarification exercise” on the events of the Abu Dhabi finale, which will now be among Ben Sulayem’s first priorities.
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