India has lost its seat on the FIA’s all-powerful World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) for the first time in more than three decades.
Incumbent Gautam Singhania lost in elections held for 14 WMSC seats reserved for incumbent members. The development came the day Mohammed Ben Sulayem replaced Jean Todt as the next FIA president.
Members of WMSC also include the President, Vice President and seven Vice Presidents.
Indian motorsport body FMSCI had only nominated Singhania to stand in the WMSC elections and he was on the presidential list of Graham Stoker, who lost the FIA presidential election to Sulayem.
READ: Ben Sulayem replaces Jean Todt as FIA president
Apart from Singhania, India’s former WMSC representatives include KD Madan and Vijay Mallya. Former FMSCI president Vicky Chandhok, who played a crucial role in Formula 1’s return to India in 2011, says the federation should have sent at least two nominations.
Chandhok remains a member of the eight-member FMSCI Board of Directors, headed by President Akbar Ebrahim.
“It is very unfortunate that the FMSCI board decided by majority to send only one application for the FIA WMSC candidacy position when they could have sent multiple applications,” Chandhok told PTI.
“President Ebrahim had proposed to the Board to send two names which would be on the presidential preferred lists of the two candidates for the presidency of the FIA which were shot down by a majority vote. Only one name was sent which was for the list of Mr. Graham Stoker according to the candidate.
“No second name has been sent to the list of Mr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem who was elected FIA President today in a landslide victory. Unfortunately, India, which has been represented for more than three decades in the past, is no longer represented at the WMSC.
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“I would like to congratulate my good friend Mohammed on his election as FIA President, which is unprecedented and shows that diversity has grown,” Chandhok added.
FMSCI President Ebrahim said the federation has a good relationship with the FIA and expressed confidence that India’s interests will not be affected even without any representation from the WMSC.
“It would be much better if we were represented at the WMSC but we have had a good working relationship with the FIA for a long time and we also have a good relationship with the new president,” said Ebrahim.