Former rally champion Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been elected FIA President, beating fellow candidate Graham Stoker, as incumbent Jean Todt steps down today after three terms.
Ben Sulayem is a 14-time FIA Middle East Rally Champion, having competed from 1983-2002, and has held a number of roles in the FIA. He will now fulfil a four-year term at the head of Formula 1’s governing body.
The United Arab Emirates’ candidate was Vice President for Sport and Member of the World Motor Sport Council (2008-2013, re-elected in 2017); founder of the FIA ACTAC region (which includes the Middle East and North African countries); Vice President for Automobile Mobility and Tourism (2013-2017); and Member of the Innovation Fund Steering Committee.
“I am very honoured to have been elected FIA President at the conclusion of the Annual General Assembly in Paris today,” he said.
“I thank all the Member Clubs for their esteem and trust. I congratulate Graham for his campaign and his engagement to the Federation. I am committed to pursuing the important work and make motor sport and mobility take further steps forward.”
He was challenged by Stoker, former F1 and FIA steward, super licence holder and FIA Deputy President for Sport since 2009 – having also held numerous other roles. Ben Sulayem received 61.62% of the votes from FIA Member Clubs to Stoker’s 36.62%, with 1.76% abstaining.
“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,” added Ben Sulayem.
Todt left his role after three terms as FIA President, having been elected in 2009.
“A chapter has come to an end,” said Todt. “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.”
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, commented: “I want to personally congratulate Mohammed Ben Sulayem on his election as President of the FIA. Formula 1 and the FIA have always been determined to ensure the long-term success of our sport and I know this will continue under his new leadership. I look forward to working closely with the new President and his team as we need to maintain momentum and focus on the big issues facing the sport. I want to also applaud Graham Stoker whose commitment to motorsport has always been very strong and I am sure he will continue to work tirelessly in support of the future and growth of our sport.
“I also want pay a personal tribute to Jean Todt for the incredible job he has done over the past 12 years in leading our sport and the wider motorsport community and the huge efforts he has made in the areas of safety and sustainability that have had an immeasurable impact on the sport and the lives of people around the world. We will miss him, and I wish him the best for his future and the next chapter in his incredible career.” –www.formula1.com