The interim secretary general for motorsport with the FIA is leaving the post she held to assist with the transition to the new president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
This transitional period was always stated as the case but Shaila-Ann became a focal point for some detractors during the Red Bull cost-cap leak due to her close association with Mercedes and Toto Wolff.
During those tumultuous times earlier this year, Red Bull raised questions about her role and it was revealed that she was tasked with overseeing the cost cap rulings. Then there were the leaks that Toto Wolff was sharing int eh paddock ahead of any official FIA announcement.
Red Bull weren’t the only team to have concerns about this as Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto said that he would need assurance that there would be no conflict. There were dots being connected by Red Bull fans and paddock-dwellers alike about how the cost cap information leaked from the FIA as well as how a letter from Zak Brown made it to the public. Hints, innuendos and whispered suggestions pointed to Shaila-Ann but no proof was offered.
FIA Sulayem said: “On behalf of everyone at the FIA, I would like to thank Shaila-Ann for her invaluable contribution in her role as Interim Secretary General for Motor Sport during an important transitional phase for the organization.
“In particular, Shaila-Ann has provided me with great support in respect to Formula 1, always acting with professionalism and integrity.”
Sulayem suggested that Rao found the penalty to Red Bull as being harsh and he suggested this is reason enough to assuage any suggestion that she may have been working in favor of her former team, Mercedes.
She may have had nothing to do with the issues around this delicate subject but we still believe the leaks are the biggest issue regarding the cost cap process. The regulations are untenable if leaks are going to occur and the FIA cannot keep a lid on privacy and complete security around each team’s financial information and the process.
Platitudes aren’t going to be enough for Sulayem if he wants to have a successful presidency. He does seem to enjoy the limelight and cameras but he has a tremendous amount of work to do to ensure the security of his internal process.