The Safety Commission examines accidents and all matters relating to safety equipment in all motorsport. The most recent and most high-profile investigation was that relating to Romain Grosjean’s terrible crash on the occasion of the first lap of the 2020 Bahrain GP.
On the occasion of the World Council held on Thursday, the first to be chaired by the new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Sam Michael was named the new president of the Safety Commission and took over from Patrick Head.
Michael began his Formula 1 career in 1993 with Lotus, then moved to Jordan when Heatel’s team closed its doors. Later, in 2001, he joined Williams where he held various roles including chief operations engineer and technical director.
At the end of 2011 Sam Michael moved to McLaren and remained tied to the Woking team until 2014, when he left Formula 1 to return to Australia.
For several years he worked as a consultant to the Triple Eight team, while more recently he dedicated himself to activities far from the world of motors, becoming CEO of Ox Mountain, a machine learning company founded in 2015. Michael is also a part-time teacher at the University of Western Australia.
In 2016 he first dealt with safety when he was invited to become director of the Australian Institute for Motor Sport Safety and the following year he became a consultant to the Research Working Group of the FIA, a body of engineers who, among other tasks, has to examine the new safety devices.
The 50-year-old also has a place on the FIA Commission for single-seaters. This body previously had former Force India boss Robert Fernley at the top, but the role is currently vacant.
Among the other changes communicated by the FIA we note that of Felipe Massa, now moved from the presidency of the CIK International Karting Commission to head of the Drivers Commission, replacing Tom Kristensen. The latter was part of the team of Ben Sulayem’s rival for the FIA presidency, Graham Stoker.
Massa’s replacement at the Karting Commission is the Indian Akbar Ebrahim. Finally Deborah Mayer took over from Michele Mouton as president of the Women in Motorsport commission.
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