Shaila-Ann Rao has been named as the interim secretary general for motorsport at the FIA international governing body, replacing Peter Bayer.

Bayer served as secretary general for sport from 2017 and also as executive director of the premier Formula 1 (F1) series from last year.

He is credited with having overseen the development of the single-seater pyramid from karting up to F1, the creation of the World Rally-Raid Championship, and the improvement of safety and sustainability across disciplines.

In a statement, the FIA said: “The FIA warmly thanks him for the achievements he has contributed to the development of motorsport over the last five years … The FIA wishes him all the best for the future.”

Rao’s appointment sees her return to the FIA having served as the organization’s legal director from 2016 to 2018.

Subsequently, she spent over three years at the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, first as general counsel and later as special advisor to the team’s chief executive and team principal Toto Wolff.

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Elsewhere, Rao has also previously served as chief operating officer and chief executive at the Sportfive international sports marketing agency, general counsel at international content producer and distributor Banijay Entertainment, and deputy legal director at TF1, the French commercial broadcaster.

Rao rejoins the FIA six months after Mohammed Ben Sulayem was elected as the organization’s new president.