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Hello sailor!

THE International Automobile Federation has been full of surprises in recent years and this week is no exception. Rather than nominate a known and experienced figure to keep an eye on F1 safety, the FIA has nominated Rear Admiral Roger Lane-Nott to be its F1 Safety Delegate and Race Director.

Lane-Nott is a longtime racing fan, but his expertise is more specifically in the world of high technology, safety-critical, nuclear submarines. A former nuclear submarine captain, in recent years Lane-Nott has commanded all NATO submarines in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. He will leave the Royal Navy in February to take up his new position with the FIA.

He will be assisted in his task by Yamaha F1 boss Herbie Blash, who has more than 30 years of experience in F1 behind him. Blash, a close associate of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone from their days together at Brabham, will continue to work for Yamaha but will advise Admiral Lane-Nott every Sunday at a Grand Prix.

The races will be started by F1 Technical Delegate Charlie Whiting, another of the old Ecclestone Brabham F1 team "mafia".

The FIA is expected to make one more appointment before the start of next season, that of a Permanent Chairman of the F1 Stewards.

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