The FIA has confirmed its secretary general Shaila-Ann Rao, who joined the governing body from Mercedes on an interim basis earlier this year, is to leave following the end of the Formula 1 season.
Rao was the FIA’s legal director from 2016 to 2018 before moving to Mercedes, where she worked as the their general counsel and then special advisor to team principal Toto Wolff.
Her return to the FIA in June this year therefore prompted rival teams including Mercedes to express “concerns” about potential conflicts of interest.
During her time in the role, Rao was involved in the FIA’s ruling that Red Bull had failed to comply with the F1 budget cap during the 2021 season. The team was fined $7 million and had its aerodynamic testing allocation for next year cut. Rao delivered the news of Red Bull’s penalty to team principal Christian Horner at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Rao was hired to replace outgoing secretary general Peter Bayer. The FIA said in a statement she “successfully managed this transition period, providing valuable support and assistance to the FIA president and the organisation during this period which is now coming to an end”.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem thanked Rao for “her invaluable contribution in her role as interim secretary general for motor sport during an important transitional phase for the organisation.
“In particular, Shaila-Ann has provided me with great support in respect to F1, always acting with professionalism and integrity.”
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