Why Is F1 Executive Director Peter Bayer Leaving The Governing Body?

Peter Bayer
Peter Bayer

Just why is Peter Bayer moving on from the role in the FIA governing body, having served as secretary-general of the sport since 2017?

There’s little surprise and perhaps understandably so when a notable figure on the Formula 1 racing grid leaves the sport or as they say, moves on. Such a thing or move, you could say, draws a lot many reactions that often tend to continue for days together. Even when it became evidently clear that both Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon were dropped by the noted Red Bull racing team, fans, even as they were divided, didn’t relent.

And that their communication and expressions on the move continued to hog the social media timelines and the blogospheres for days together.

Similarly, back in the day, picture the conclusion of the 2009 Formula 1 season, when Kimi Raikkonen dropped what was clearly a bombshell that he was moving on from the sport, F1 did take its own sweet time to absorb the sudden development.

The same happened when Alonso, who’s now gladly back as some would reckon, decided to retire; though in truth, we all knew that the hunger deep within would compel the Spanish Samurai to return.

But in here lies an interesting subject for observation. While we truly express remorse, even offer polarising views and on occasions, shed tears when a racing idol moves on, do we react with the same intensity when an FIA figure or someone belonging to the managerial or leadership part of the sport we so love decides to move on?

Which precisely brings us to the key question that just how might the F1 fandom and world react to the news that Peter Bayer, who’s been a significant figure of the FIA for over the last half a decade, has decided to move on?

Having said that, first up, some context.

The infamous Lewis Hamilton versus Max Verstappen duel in the 2021 season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was perhaps the most-widely-talked-about point from last season’s championship- right?

But imagine the plight rather challenges of those in the FIA who had to rule the verdict on a race that was perhaps more dramatic and controversial than it was popular.

How enormous might have been the responsibility of those decisive figures in the sport’s elite governing body who had, without a modicum of failure, rule verdict on a title-deciding moment?

Michael Masi, no longer part of the sport, was just one of the figures; Peter Bayer came into the role of being F1’s executive director just ahead of the title-finale race that had so many emotions and perhaps polarising ones.

Though, the key figure of the FIA, was overseeing the operations. Connected deeply to the sporting department of the world’s fastest form of single-seater racing, Peter Bayer’s job involved looking after pretty much everything that included even overseeing operations and development of go-karting up forwards to F1.

But there was more criticality to his role in that Peter Bayer was part of the investigative team that looked into that very contentious Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

As the important Austrian, who perhaps was a touch under-appreciated, leaves his duties, the following is the media statement issued about his departure by the venerable FIA and it states the following:

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile announces the departure of Peter Bayer, who served as Secretary General for Sport since 2017 and also as F1 Executive Director since 2021.”

“The FIA warmly thanks him for the achievements he has contributed to the development of motor sport over the last five years. In particular, he has supervised, with the entire Sport Division, the building of the single-seater pyramid from karting to F1, the creation of the new World Rally-Raid Championship, as well as improving safety and sustainability in all disciplines. The FIA wishes him all the best for the future.”


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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 20: <> prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

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