Former Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley is to replace new Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali as the FIA’s Single-Seater Commission president.
Fernley spent 10-and-a-half years with the team following its entry into F1 in 2008, working as right-hand man to owner Vijay Mallya after the Indian business tycoon purchased the Silverstone-based operation then known as Spyker at the end of 2007. Following Mallya’s financial troubles which resulted in his absence from races, Fernley took on added responsibility for the day-to-day running of the team across grand prix weekends.
The team eventually went into administration and was bought in August 2018 by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll and his consortium, resulting in Fernley’s departure.
The 62-year-old then took on the role of president of McLaren’s IndyCar project in November 2018 which proved to be an ill-fated affair that lasted just six months after Fernando Alonso failed to qualify for the 2019 Indy 500.
Fernley will step into his new position at the FIA on January 1 following Domenicali’s recent appointment as the replacement for Chase Carey at F1.
The single-seater commission was initially established to provide a clear career path to F1 via F4, F3 and F2, with that work undertaken by predecessors Gerhard Berger and Domenicali. Fernley will be tasked with building on that.
Another move sees Professor Gérard Saillant stepping down from his role as president of the FIA Medical Commission.
Saillant was responsible for coordinating the medical protocol against Covid-19 that enabled F1 to become the first international sporting competition to restart this year, allowing other FIA championships to follow. Saillant, who will continue as an advisor to the Commission, is to be succeeded by the current vice-president Dr Dino Altmann from Brazil.
Dr Ian Roberts, who stepped into the spotlight last month for helping to save the life of Romain Grosjean following his crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix, becomes the new vice-president.