Mohammed Ben Sulayem becomes FIA president

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mohammed ben sulayem

Former Middle East Rally champion aims to double participation in motorsport globally.

Mohammed ben Sulayem has been elected as the FIA’s new president, succeeding the long-serving Jean Todt.

The appointment comes just five days after the hugely controversial conclusion to the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Ben Suleyam won 61.6% of today’s vote of the FIA General Assembly, defeating Brit Graham Stroker who served as the FIA’s deputy president for sport under Todt. Stoker took 36.6% of the vote.

The 60-year-old Ben Sulayem becomes the first non-European president of motorsport’s governing body. Born in Dubai, he is a 14-time Middle East really champion and has previously been vice-president for the Middle East at the FIA.

Among his election promises for his four-year term, Ben Sulayem has vowed to double motorsport participation, put best-practice governance structures in place, and bolster diversity and inclusion.

He said, on Twitter: “I am truly honoured to be elected President of the FIA. 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.

In the official FIA statement, he added: “I congratulate Graham for his campaign and his engagement to the Federation. I wish to express my infinite gratitude in the name of the FIA and that of its Members to Jean Todt for all that has been achieved over the past 12 years. I am committed to pursuing the important work and make motor sport and mobility take further steps forward.”

Todt commented: “A chapter has come to an end. We can be collectively satisfied of our achievements in motor sport and safe and sustainable mobility over the past 12 years. I would like to warmly thank my team, our administration and all our Member Clubs for their unwavering commitment, enthusiasm and resilience. I congratulate Mohammed on his election as FIA President and wish him, his team, and the Federation the best of success for the years to come.”

Rachel Burgess

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