Heads roll at the FIA following Cashgate Scandal

Shaila-Ann Rao will be leaving her role at the FIA of interim secretary general.

Christian Horner and Red Bull were outraged when rumours began to flood the paddock surrounding the team’s breach of the 2021 cost cap.

Teams were permitted to spend a maximum of $145m over the course of the season, and despite the FIA only publishing the findings of their investigation around the weekend of the Austin Grand Prix, Red Bull had been accused of being cheats since the race weekend in Singapore, weeks before F1 headed to the USA.

This led Horner to call for an investigation of his own, furious that someone had leaked his team’s cost cap breach to the media before any official information was released.

Fingers were pointed at Shaila-Ann Rao, the interim secretary general at the FIA, who was controversially appointed six months ago despite previously working for Toto Wolff and Mercedes in a legal advisory role.

READ: Andreas Seidl opens up on blame for Daniel Ricciardo failure

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been quick to defend Rao, claiming that she actually thought he was being harsh in his punishment of Red Bull and that he believes the leak actually came from one of the ten F1 teams themselves.

“Shaila-Ann has provided me with great support in respect to Formula 1, always acting with professionalism and integrity,” said Ben Sulayem when asked about the rumours.

It has now been confirmed that the interim secretary general will be leaving her role at the FIA, but the FIA have told the media that this has nothing to do with the ‘leak’ accusations, or her controversial employment history.

“Shaila-Ann Rao returned to the FIA to assist the new presidential team during the transition period as interim secretary general for motorsport,” explained an FIA statement.

Article continues below

“Shaila-Ann successfully managed this transition period, providing valuable support and assistance to the FIA president and the organisation during this period which is now coming to an end.

READ: Mazepin opens up on ‘depression’ as he sends message to Ricciardo and Schumacher

“Shaila-Ann will now therefore be leaving the FIA following the end of the Formula 1 season. The FIA thanks Shaila-Ann for her support during this period.”

Toto Wolff has accused Christian Horner of simply trying to shift the blame away from his team, after Red Bull were officially punished for their breach of the 2021 cost cap.

Horner had previously slammed the other nine team principals for their treatment of his team, with Zak Brown of McLaren even penning a letter to the FIA labelling the team as ‘cheats’ despite having no concrete evidence of Red Bull wrong doing.