The FIA has confirmed that general secretary Shaila-Anne Rao, who joined the governing body on an interim basis from Mercedes earlier this year, is to leave at the end of the Formula 1 season.
Before moving to Mercedes in 2010, Rao She was the FIA’s Legal Director from 2016 to 2018, where she worked as their General Counsel and then Special Counsel to Team Principal Toto Wolff.
Her return to the FIA in June this year has therefore prompted rival teams, including Mercedes, to express concerns about potential conflicts of interest.
During her tenure as a player, Rao was involved in the FIA’s ruling that Red Bull could not meet F1’s budget cap for the 2021 season. The team was fined 7 million dollars and the allocation for the next year’s air extension test was cut. Rao broke the news of Red Bull’s suspension to team leader Christian Horner at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Rao was hired to replace outgoing Secretary General Peter Baier. The FIA said in a statement that “the important support and assistance of the FIA president and the organization has been successfully managed during this transition period which is now being completed”.
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem praised Rao for her outstanding contribution to the organisation’s important transitional phase in her role as Interim Secretary General.
“Sheila-Anne in particular has been a great supporter of F1, always acting professionally and with integrity.”
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