Nielsen joins the FIA

The FIA has restructured its racing operations with Nikolas Tombazis, who has led the FIA’s Formula 1 technical team since 2018 becoming Single Seater Director.

There will be four divisions: Sporting, Technical, Financial and Strategy & Operations all reporting to Tombazis.

Following many years of close collaboration with the FIA in his previous position at FOM and reflecting that continued collaborative working relationship, Formula 1’s sporting director Steve Nielsen is to move across to take the same role at the FIA, and will be responsible for overseeing all sporting matters including the ongoing development of Race Control and the Remote Operations Centre, as well as future updates to the Sporting Regulations.

Tim Goss will take over Tombazis’s role as technical director, having already served as deputy for the last couple of years.

Federico Lodi, who has led the FIA’s Financial Regulations team since its inception, is now becomes the FIA’s Formula 1 Financial Director.

Former Sporting Director François Sicard will take on a newly-created position within the FIA as Formula 1 Strategy & Operations Director, responsible for long-term strategic planning, and also for key trackside activities and logistics.

The Formula 1 Group says that it is currently assessing a new sporting structure, following the departures of Ross Brawn and Nielsen, although with the new appointments this should not really be necessary as the F1 group is simply the commercial rights holder and should really only advise on sporting matters. This will solve the problem of clashes between the regulator and the series promoter. And that has to be a good thing.

23 thoughts on “Nielsen joins the FIA

  1. “F1 group is simply the commercial rights holder and should really only advise on sporting matters.”
    Even sporting matters are really the business of the FIA via the Sporting Regs and the ISC.
    The commercial rights lease holder is no longer Bernie who had fingers and leverage in everything and everyone; they have enough commercial matters to keep them occupied trying to create Mcf1 and raising advertising revenue, without interfering in the sporting side.

  2. Joe, is Bob Fernley still at the Single seater commission??

    Always thought he was a solid pair of hands as he seemed to hold Force India together while your old mate Vijay was hiding from his responsibilities!!!! Was sad when it didn’t work out fir him at Mclaren (unless you think he’s a bit of a Vasseur!!)

  3. Let’s hope Nielsen is able to get a grip on his boss Ben Sulayem.

    Ben Sulayem has been going in the wrong direction on almost every issue.

      1. Readers generally understand the difference between facts and opinions. For example, your penultimate sentence is unlikely to be true.

        1. @Silverstone Man – you don’t believe this is true? ‘Former Sporting Director François Sicard will take on a newly-created position within the FIA as Formula 1 Strategy & Operations Director, responsible for long-term strategic planning, and also for key trackside activities and logistics.’

    1. I don’t think that is entirely true! He inherited seemingly quite large problems at the FIA, a big budget deficit, a lawsuit, and the fallout from Abu Dhabi, and he has gone about his business efficiently by all accounts. If it were not for the FIA, F1 would be in a constant civil war between the teams. You can already see the protectionist behaviour, without some check and balance from Ben Sulayem, can you imagine what it would be like?

  4. Joe, why do I get this bad feeling that your blog is about to be inundated with comments akin to the 2021 season was ruined by Michael Masi and Abu Dhabi and how corrupt the FIA is, yada, yada, yada?

    As someone far-removed from things, I actually see the race director and stewards as doing quite amazing jobs given the volume of material they have to navigate when issuing decisions and feel that in most cases the speed at which they make decisions is amazing given how fast things are happening on track, the pits, the pitwall, etc.

    1. WJ – in my opinion (SM take note) it’s only a very few who do that on here. It is the only properly moderated site on F1 that I’ve found that also has well reasoned debate – a sanctuary for those of us with opposable thumbs.

      Thanks for taking the time to moderate it Joe. I’d love to see the foolish nonsense that you filter out… Room to produce a ‘pdf of idiots’ tome?

      On the Vijay Mallay side – I have first hand knowledge of the damage he did to another of his portfolio – zero investment, take all the cash out, run away. Thankfully that famous business is now run and invested in properly and is thriving.

      1. Paul, you are correct. I am thankful Joe allows us to comment. I just hope he does not ban that from happening if certain “negative Nancies” keep their relentless waves of negativity flowing. The sport of F1 is in its best health since I became a fan as a teen during the early 80s. Anyone who cannot see how healthy the sport is in my useless opinion, blind.

        As 50-plus, old fart, I understand the waxing nostalgic some do, but I think perceptions are very nebulous.

  5. How did Neilsen’s and Pat Symonds’ roles relate to each other at FOM prior to Neilsen’s move?

    Where does this leave Symonds? Will he retire now?

    1. Thanks for the clarification. Specific criticisms of BS might include:
      – Publicly discussing the merits of Alonso and how he will / will not fit in at AMR
      – Holding a press conference with Andretti when there is a defined process to follow
      – Suppressing the rights of drivers to discuss matters of public interest

  6. Do Liberty and FIA still have equal voting power? The problem used to be that FOM and FIA had the same voting power, and Bernie and Todt could never agree on anything, and Bernie knew nothing about technical issues and didn’t do as Liberty have done and hire somebody who does. And so very little got changed unless (don’t hurt your ribs laughing) the teams with votes were unanimous and also sided with FIA or with FOM.

    1. I am unclear about the current system of management, decision making and the balance between the FIA and the F1Group (assuming FOM is completely gone as a separate entity)
      What is the structure please Joe. Who has what votes? In what?

      1. They discuss things and if they agree the teams cannot do much. As to votes, that is only in the F1 Commission.

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