Motorsport boss Mohammed Ben Sulayem has said he will step back from his direct involvement in Formula 1.
The 61-year-old’s decision comes after a series of controversies since becoming president of the FIA’s governing body in December 2021.
Ben Sulayem wrote that his “stated goal was to be a non-executive chairman via recruiting a team of professional managers”.
This step, the Emirati said, “is now largely complete”.
Although Ben Sulayem stood for election on the promise of being a non-executive chairman, he has played a direct and practical role in F1 over the past year.
This has led to a series of controversies including, but not limited to:
Ben Sulayem’s letter to the teams said he would now “focus on strategic issues with my management team”.
Their “day-to-day contact for all matters relating to F1” would be FIA director of single-seater racing Nikolas Tombazis, he said.
Tombazis, a former head of the FIA’s technical department, was given his new role last month as part of a restructuring of the body’s F1 departments.
This including recruitment of F1’s Steve Nielsen to oversee race control, in a bid to improve its operation after a series of controversies in recent years.
The FIA has highlighted the hiring of a new chief executive, former automotive director Natalie Rincon, as central to the restructuring of its operations.
A spokesman said: “The President’s manifesto set out this plan clearly before his election – it promised ‘the appointment of an FIA CEO to deliver an integrated and aligned operation’, as well as ‘introducing a framework for revised governance “under” a management team focused on transparency, democracy and growth.
“These objectives, as well as the announcement of the new structure of the single-seater department, have been planned since the start of this presidency.
“The FIA President has a broad mandate that spans the breadth of global motorsport and mobility, and now that the structural reorganization of Formula 1 is complete, it is a natural next step.”
The spokeswoman added that Rincon, an American, would oversee F1 as part of her role, and that she “is involved in [legislative body] the World Council and will be in Bahrain [at the first race of the F1 season on 3-5 March]”.