Sheikh Mohamed congratulates Ben Sulayem on assuming FIA presidency

Emirati former rally driver is first non-European to lead world motorsport

New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem. Image: Reuters
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on Saturday offered his congratulations to the UAE's Mohammed Ben Sulayem who became the first non-European president of motorsport's world governing body after being elected on Friday.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces wished the 60-year-old Emirati former champion rally driver “well in his new role” leading the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

“I extend my sincere congratulations to Mohammed Ben Sulayem on his historic election,” said Sheikh Mohamed.

Ben Sulayem, one of the Arab world’s leading motor sport figures, is now the most powerful man in Formula One. He replaces 75-year-old Frenchman Jean Todt, who is retiring after three terms of office.

In his first public appearance, the 14-time Middle East Rally Champion highlighted his aims for diversity and expansion of the sport.

As well as for F1, the FIA is also the governing body for the World Rally Championship, World Endurance, and Formula E among other series.

Ben Sulayem has previously been FIA vice-president and a World Motor Sport Council member.

Updated: December 19, 2021, 3:29 AM