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Mohammed ben Sulayem elected new FIA president

Mohammed ben Sulayem has been elected the new president of the FIA, taking over from the outgoing Jean Todt after 12 years.

Mohammed ben Sulayem, President EMSO (UAE)

Todt completed his third and final term as FIA president in 2021, but will now hand over the reins of motorsport's world governing body to ben Sulayem, 60, following a vote on Friday at the FIA General Assembly.

Ben Sulayem defeated Graham Stoker, who served as the FIA's deputy president for sport under Todt, with 61.6% of the vote.

Stoker recorded 36.6% of votes, while abstentions were recorded at 1.8%.

Ben Sulayem enjoyed a lengthy career as a rally driver, winning the FIA Middle East Rally Championship on 14 occasions, before moving into governance. He was the first Arab to be elected to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council, and previously served as vice-president for sport with the FIA.

"I am truly honoured to be elected President of the FIA,” ben Sulayem wrote on Twitter. “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.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to Jean Todt for his leadership over the past 12 years, and commend Graham Stoker on his campaign. We look forward to working with all who seek the betterment of this Federation we all love.”

“A chapter has come to an end,” said outgoing president 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.”

His election marks a break with the past, becoming the first non-European to serve as president of the FIA, and comes after support was given to his 'FIA for Members' campaign by Motorsport UK, the governing body of British motorsport.

Speaking to Autosport earlier this year as part of the #ThinkingForward series, ben Sulayem felt there was a need to grow motorsport and make it more affordable around the world, as well as expanding regional championships and helping more young drivers get into racing.

"I do intend to create better and affordable pathways for young drivers," ben Sulayem said in July. "That's the change. You cannot just repeat what the previous president did, it won't work. The challenges are different.

"As I said, the landscape is changing but you will not divert me from the main thing: to create better and affordable pathways for young people."

Video recorded before FIA election results

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