Following an internal review, the FIA have today announced how the reorganised structure of their F1 departments will look.
In the wake of the FIA’s investigation into the events of the 2021 Abu Dhabi race it was decided that the Race Director had too many roles to play and the responsibilities needed to be shared out so they could each be focussed on properly. At that time Race Director Michael Masi had also been serving as the FIA Safety Delegate and Single Seater Sporting Director, all of which were roles his predecessor, Charlie Whiting, had picked up over the course of his career.
“We have dedicated a lot of time and effort,” FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said, “to making significant, informed changes to our Formula 1 team to create the right structure with the right people to oversee the future regulation of the sport.
“By developing and empowering people within our organisation, as well as bringing in expertise and experience from the outside, I am confident that we are in the best position possible to move forward together with our partners at FOM and the Formula 1 teams.”
All the reshuffling has now been completed and will be ready for the start of the 2023 season. At the head of the new structure will be Nikolas Tombazis, who has most recently headed the F1 technical team and oversaw the implementation of the new regulations, and will now become the Single Seater Director and will have the Directors of the Sporting, Technical, Financial, and Strategy & Operations departments reporting to him.
“I am excited and honoured,” said Tombazis, “to be taking on this new position within the FIA, and very grateful to the President for the trust he is demonstrating towards me.
“We have a group of extremely talented and dedicated people who work flat out to deliver the level of regulation that Formula 1 demands and deserves, and I fully believe this new structure will take our resources to the next level and allow us to make continual improvements.”
Steve Nielsen will become the FIA’s Sporting Director and oversee the ongoing changes to how Race Control operates and the Sporting Regulations. Since 2017 Nielsen has worked in a similar role in F1 while prior to that he had held sporting roles within multiple teams going back to the 80s.
With Tombazis’ new role, his former Deputy, Tim Goss, will take over the Technical Director job, while Federico Lodi will be the F1 Financial Director and former Sporting Director, François Sicard, will become the Director of Strategy and Operations.
“I have spent my professional life working for many teams and organisations in Formula 1,” Nielsen commented, “and cannot wait to engage with another new chapter with the FIA. I’d like to thank both the President and Stefano Domenicali for their trust in me, and I understand and appreciate the unique challenges that come with being the regulator.
“Having worked closely with a number of people in the Federation over the years, I’m looking forward to tackling those challenges that lie ahead with them. Formula 1 is in a great place at the moment, and it’s our responsibility to ensure the future health of the sport that is at the heart of everything we do.”
While F1 President and CEO, Stefano Domenicali, added his thanks and praise to Nielsen after the new roles were announced: “I want to thank Steve Nielsen for his hard work and dedication over the past five years at Formula 1.
“He is a highly respected professional in our sport, and we fully support his move to the FIA. His skills and experience in Formula 1 will assist the FIA in its ongoing efforts to improve their operations during race weekends.”