FIA announces exit of F1 executive director Bayer

The FIA has announced that its secretary general for sport and Formula 1 executive director, Peter Bayer, has left the governing body.

 Peter Bayer, FIA Secretary General for Motor Sport at the F1 Motorsport Network Global Fan Survey Press Conference

Bayer took up the role as the FIA’s secretary general for sport in 2017, overseeing all activities in the FIA’s sporting department right the way from go-karting up to F1, as well as working closely with member clubs across the world.

The Austrian became the FIA’s F1 executive director at the end of last year prior to the controversial end to the season in Abu Dhabi, overseeing its F1 operations.

In a statement issued by the FIA on Wednesday, the FIA announced that Bayer had left his roles.

“The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile announces the departure of Peter Bayer, who served as Secretary General for Sport since 2017 and also as F1 Executive Director since 2021,” the statement reads.

“The FIA warmly thanks him for the achievements he has contributed to the development of motor sport over the last five years. In particular, he has supervised, with the entire Sport Division, the building of the single-seater pyramid from karting to F1, the creation of the new World Rally-Raid Championship, as well as improving safety and sustainability in all disciplines. The FIA wishes him all the best for the future.”

As part of his role, Bayer was placed in charge of overseeing the investigation into the events of Abu Dhabi, where Lewis Hamilton lost out on the F1 title to Max Verstappen on the final lap restart after former race director Michael Masi failed to implement at least two articles of the sporting regulations.

Under new president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the FIA has since restructured its F1 operations, including the appointment of two race directors to alternate the role and the introduction of a new virtual race control room.

The FIA has recently appointed former DAMS managing director Francois Sicard as its new single-seater sporting director as part of its restructuring, in a role that was positioned between Bayer and the other key F1 figures within the governing body.

The FIA confirmed that Bayer would be replaced on an interim basis by Shaila-Ann Rao, who previously spent two years with the FIA as its legal director and has recently rejoined the organisation. At the end of 2018, Rao left the FIA to join Mercedes as general counsel before becoming a special advisor to Toto Wolff in January 2021.

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