Ferrari have raised concerns over the FIA’s appointment of a former Mercedes executive to a senior position.
“We enjoyed the collaboration with Peter,” said Ferrari’s team principal Mattia Binotto. “It was always very transparent, I think fair, between teams in the way and rational in the way he was moving on with the topics and the subject. He’s got certainly a lot of competencies and experience.”
Binotto supports new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s efforts to overhaul the governing body but is concerned by them hiring from a rival team.
“There is a new organisation, reorganisation within the FIA down to the new president to move on, to decide his own team and we fully respect the choices,” said Binotto. “We are accepting and even looking at the future trying to make sure that we are properly collaborating and I’m sure the FIA become stronger and stronger.
“On the concern of Shaila-Ann, yes, certainly it’s a concern. I think she is a great person, she’s got a lot of experience, she would certainly be capable of doing a good job. I’m pretty sure on that.
“It’s only a concern, I think it’s down to them to make sure that there will be no conflicts of interest at all, to behave properly, and it’s down to the president to ensure it. And I’ve got the trust they will do it.
“As Ferrari it’s a concern. I’m pretty sure that through the behaviours, through the decisions they will prove it’s a wrong concern.”
But Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff pointed out Rao joined Mercedes from the FIA just four years earlier.
“She was at the FIA before she joined us, she was chief executive officer of one of the largest sports agencies before.
“What the positive is, having Shaila-Ann in this position, is she’s one about governance and transparency. She’s a lawyer and I think this is something we’ve always criticised in the past that things weren’t always as transparent and as clear for the teams.
“I think this is one of the key topics that she will be trying to implement and that is good news for all of the teams.”
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