Mohammed Ben Sulayem from the United Arab Emirates has been elected president of the FIA, the former rally driver succeeding Jean Todt who reigned for twelve years at the helm of motorsports' governing body.
Sulayem defeated at the ballot box FIA deputy vice-president Graham Stoker with a 61.6% vote.
As one of the Arab world's leading motor sport figures, Sulayem enjoyed a rallying career that spanned three decades, during which the 60-year-old won 14 FIA Middle East Rally Championship titles.
In 2008, he became the first Arab named as Vice President of the FIA, and the first to be elected to the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
In his FIA role he has pioneered teaching, research and knowledge transfer initiatives in motor sport, and was also instrumental in establishing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Formula 1's calendar in 2009.
Sulayem is also the first non-European to serve as president of the FIA. He will be supported in his top governance role by Deputy President and former British rally co-driver Robert Reid who partnered Richard Burns to victory in the 2001 World Rally Championship.
"I am truly honoured to be elected President of the FIA," he 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."
I am truly honoured to be elected President of the @FiA. 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. pic.twitter.com/9E7TiG0PyG
— Mohammed Ben Sulayem (@Ben_Sulayem) December 17, 2021
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was among the first to congratulate the FIA's incoming president on his election.
"I want to personally congratulate Mohammed Ben Sulayem on his election as President of the FIA," said the F1 boss.
"Formula 1 and the FIA have always been determined to ensure the long-term success of our sport and I know this will continue under his new leadership.
"I look forward to working closely with the new President and his team as we need to maintain momentum and focus on the big issues facing the sport.
"I also want pay a personal tribute to Jean Todt for the incredible job he has done over the past 12 years in leading our sport and the wider motorsport community and the huge efforts he has made in the areas of safety and sustainability that have had an immeasurable impact on the sport and the lives of people around the world.
"We will miss him, and I wish him the best for his future and the next chapter in his incredible career."