Ferrari admits ‘concerns’ about FIA appointment

Ferrari admits it’s a “concern” that the FIA has appointed to one of its top positions a recent special advisor to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

It emerged recently that F1’s executive director Peter Bayer, who was also the FIA’s secretary general for sport, has departed.

He has been replaced by lawyer Shaila-Ann Rao – Wolff’s former lawyer general counsel to the Mercedes works team.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said he regrets the departure of Bayer, who he says was “very transparent, fair between teams and rational”.

“I think there is a new organisation within the FIA, so it’s down to the new president to decide his own team and we fully respect the choices,” said the Italian.

However, when asked if he has concerns that a figure so close to Mercedes and Wolff has been named as the replacement, Binotto admitted: “Yes, certainly it’s a concern.

“I think Shaila-Ann is a great person with a lot of experience. She will certainly be capable of doing the job, I’m pretty sure of that,” he said.

“It’s a concern, but it’s only a concern. I think it’s down to them to make sure that there will be no conflicts of interest at all, to behave properly and it’s down to the president to ensure that.

“As Ferrari, it’s a concern. But I’m pretty sure that through the behaviours, through the decisions, they will prove it’s a wrong concern.”

Wolff, meanwhile, played down those concerns on the basis that Rao actually worked with the FIA prior to joining his organisation.

“I think something we have always criticised in the past was that things weren’t always as transparent and as clear for the teams,” he said.

“I think this is one of the key topics that she will be trying to implement and that is good news for all of the teams.”

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