FIA creates F1 Commissioner post to spearhead changes

(L to R): Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Formula One President and CEO with Mohammed Bin Sulayem (UAE) FIA President and Dieter Rencken (RSA) Motorsport Adviser to FIA President on the grid. 17.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
© XPB 

The FIA is to create a dedicated post of F1 Commissioner to lead motorsport's governing body's initiatives introducing and implementing improvements within the sport in future.

The new position was first mooted by Jean Todt when he was president of the FIA, saying it needed to find someone both suitably qualified and willing to give his time, given the FIA's non-profit status limits the pay on offer.

On Friday, reported that respected F1 journalist Dieter Rencken has agreed to take up the role with immediate effect, having been working as an advisor to current FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem for several months.

The report says Rencken will assist in the formulation and implementation of improvements for F1 on behalf of the FIA, and report directly to Ben Sulayem.

It means Rencken will take a leading role in helping to frame the new Concorde Agreement due to come into effect in 2026. That's the contract between the FIA and teams entering F1, laying down commercial terms and rules.

The original proposal of a dedicated F1 commissioner was dropped when it was acknowledged that at the time, Bernie Ecclestone essentially already fulfilled the main aspects of the envisaged role.

But now, with Liberty Media in charge of Formula 1, Ben Sulayem believes that such a figure is needed to help facilitate the smooth running of the sport, especially when it comes to taking a key role in the Concorde Agreement talks.

“It's not a one-man show,” he insisted last month, about the running of F1. “I always go to our team. If you asked me six months ago, I would have said I don't have enough [of a] good team to negotiate this.

“We have a good single-seater [technical department], we have all of that," he continued, referring to the existing body headed up by Gian Carlo Minardi.

Dieter Rencken (RSA) Journalist.
29.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, Sprint Day.
-, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images

"But when it comes to negotiation, negotiation is not technical people," he argued. "Technical people are about restrictors, about sound, about [Power Units]. That's not what exists with the commercial side.

"The new Concorde Agreement should be fair to all of the three stakeholders: FIA, FOM [owned by Liberty] and the ten teams, if they are still there. That’s where then I think we will feel good.

“So now today, I have a good team," he stated. "It's good to start now, but our house is not on fire."

Renken currently lives in the Ardennes region 30km from Spa-Francorchamps and had been editorial director for F1 news website, having attended over 350 Grands Prix since 2000.

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