Features - News Feature

JULY 1, 1993

The F1 World Council: Who are those guys?


In the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the two outlaws are pursued by a group of law men who they cannot identify and who don't give up. Motor racing folk feel the same way about the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which decides the rules of the sport... Who are those guys?

In the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the two outlaws are pursued by a group of law men who they cannot identify and who don't give up. Motor racing folk feel the same way about the FIA World Motor Sport Council, which decides the rules of the sport... Who are those guys?

Jose Abed

Born: 5/2/40

Nationality: Mexican

The son of a racing driver, he became a mechanical engineer with a doctorate from Stanford in the United States. An amateur rally driver, he is on the board of several banks, runs a hotel chain, an aviation company and a number of motor groups. In '85 he founded Vitesse 2000 and organized the Mexican GP between '86-'92. In '89 he established the Mexican F3 series, in which he still runs a team.

Jean-Marie Balestre

Date of birth: 9/4/21

Nationality: French

Worked for L'Auto magazine from '37. During the war he worked for Vichy government and later was in the French SS, until he was arrested by the Germans and deported in May '44. He returned to France after the war and was interned for two years. He later cleared his name and received resistance decorations. Founded Autojournal with Robert Hersant in '50 and built a publishing empire. In '59 he founded the French national karting committee and later founded the International Karting Commission. Became secretary-general of the FFSA in '68 and elected its president in '73. Became FISA's founding president in '78 and president on the FIA in '87. Defeated by Mosley in the FISA presidential election of 1991, Balestre stood down this year as FIA president and has now been appointed president of the FIA Senate.

Leopoldo Barbosa

Date of birth: 15/11/42

Nationality: Venezuelan

Educated at Villanova University in Philadelphia USA. Worked in banking from '63. A regular competitor in South American racing until '70 and joined the Sporting Commission of Touring y Automovil Club de Venezuela (TAC) in '71. President of the TAC's sporting commission between '71-76 and again in '92, when elected TAC vice-president. Joined World Council this year.

Jacek Bartos

Date of birth:


Rally driver between 1964-69 and official on World Rally Championship events. Born 1944 member of Polish sports commission.

Michel Boeri


Nationality: Monagasque

Son of Etienne Boeri, who was president of the Automobile Club de Monaco between 1966-68, Lawyer Boeri was elected president of ACM in 1972. A member of the Monagasque parliament. FIA Vice-president

Ernest Buser

Date of birth: 16/3/31

Nationality: Swiss

Studied business and economics in Basle and has worked in industry and marketing ever since, running an air conditioning manufacturing company. Began racing in 1964 and became president of the Basle Motorsport Club in 1967. In 1975 he became prsident of the Swiss karting federation and three years later became president of the International Karting Commission (CIK) and a member of the World Motor Sports Council. As CIK president he sits by right on the WMSC.

Alexander Dardoufas

Born: 13/2/22

Nationality: Greek

A wealthy Greek gentleman, Dardoufas became a member of the executive committee of the Automobile and Touring Club of Greece (ELPA) in '60. He was elected to the FIA Executive Committee five years later and became ELPA president in '77 and an FIA vice-president in '81.

Baron Charles de Fierlant Dormer

Date of birth: 11/5/33

Nationality: Belgian

Another of the old FIA school, de Fierlant is vice-president of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium. At the same time he presides over the Belgian union of fish breeders and has a similar role with the European Union of Salmon Breeders. He is also president of the Belgian Royal Society of racehorses and an international horse judge. He is a regular F1 steward.

Bernie Ecclestone


Worked in a chemical laboratory, before setting up a motorcycle spare parts business which he ran from his parents home. Competed in bike and car racing until a big accident caused him to concentrate on building up a motorcycle dealership, which became the second largest in Britain. Later raced a 2-litre Cooper-Bristol in '49-50. Made his fortune in cars and property and in '57 bought the F1 Connaught team, running Stewart Lewis-Evans, Roy Salvadori, Archie Scott-Brown and Ivor Bueb. The death of Lewis-Evans in the Moroccan GP of '58 ended his involvement. In the early sixties he met Jochen Rindt, through his friend Roy Salvadori and became Rindt's manager and business partner. When Rindt moved to the Lotus F2 team Ecclestone managed the operation. In '71 Ecclestone bought Motor Racing Developments from Ron Tauranac and ran Brabham F1 team. Founded FOCA in early '74 and led F1 teams against CSI in the war of '75-76 and later in the FISA-FOCA war of '80-81, which won FOCA the TV rights in F1. Sold Brabham and became FIA Vice-President (Promotional Affairs) in '87. Sits by right on World Council.

Ron Frost MBE

Date of birth:

Nationality: New Zealander

A qualified engineer, Frost designed and built the Levin circuit in '56 and two years later became president of Motorsport Association of New Zealand, a position he held until '77. In the 1960s he organized the Tasman Series, attracting the big European stars to Australia and New Zealand. In '63 became managing-director of the NZ International GP Club, which operated Pukekohe circuit. Since '77 he has been honorary president of MANZ.

Nazir Hoosein

Date of birth: 16/10/45

Nationality: Indian

A cinema owner, film distributor and the boss of a garage in Bombay, Hoosein raced and rallied from 1968 onwards with much success. Unhappy with the administration of the sport, he became the first president of the Indian Automotive Racing Club and played an important role in the formation of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). In 1980 he formed the Himalayan Rally Association which ran the rally of that name. In 1984 he was elected president of the FMSCI, although he is now just a consultant. He has represented India at the FIA for 13 years.

Toshio Iwasaki

Date of birth: 1931.

Nationality: Japanese

Graduated in politics from Tokyo University and joined the NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation) in 1955. Worked as an international reporter and was posted to Washington in the 1960s. Then spent time as a war correspondent in Vietnam. Later spent three years as NHK bureau chief head in Washington DC, covering all news in the Americas. Finished his NHK career as director-general of the International Affairs department. Joined the Japanese Automobile Federation in 1991 as Deputy Secretary-General of the motor sports department. Became secretary-general in 1992 and in June this year was elected Director of the JAF.

John Large

Date of birth: 16/10/38

Nationality: Australia

Born in Tasmania, Large qualified as a pharmaceutical chemist and built up the Lighthouse Chemists chain in Western Australia. Went on to establish pharmacy consultancy and computer businesses. A trials competitor in the late 1960s he was Australian Rally Champion in 1975, by which time he was a member of the National Council of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS). Became CAMS president in 1983 and in 1987 became its FISA representative. Elected a FISA vice-president in 1989. Sold all his businesses in 1991 to concentrate on the sport. FIA Vice-president in '93.

Derek Ledger

Date of birth: 23/8/35

Nationality: Anglo-Jordanian

Born in Jerusalem, Ledger was educated at British public schools and Lloyds of London and began working in his father's Insurance business in Jordan. He was the Jordanian national tennis champion in 1962 and the same year won the first of three national karting titles. His motor sport career was rounded off with the Jordanian national rally championship in 1965. He later became a double national archery champion. In 1966 he joined the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan and became its chief executive in 1975. He has been largely responsible for the growth of middle eastern rallying.

Wilhelm Lyding

VP German ONS

FIA Vice-president

Burdette Martin

Date of birth: 24/7/29

Nationality: American

A graduate of the University of New Mexico, Martin served with the US Marines in Korea. Raced cars and motorcycles and in 1955 set up a racing importation business. Appointed chief steward of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in 1965. Worked in TransAm, SuperVee, Canam and F1 in the USA. In 1977 he became director of the SCCA racing department and six years later president of Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS) US delegate to FISA. Became a FISA vice-president in 1985. FIA vice-president '93. Has also been director of the US national ice hockey federation.[QL]

Max Mosley

Date of Birth: 13/4/40.

Nationality: British

The second son of politician Sir Oswald Mosley and novelist Diana Mitford. Educated in France, Germany and Oxford University where he studied physics and was secretary of the Oxford Union. In '61 he began studying law at Grays Inn and qualified in '64, then spending five years as a solicitor. At the same time he pursued a racing career and in '68 tried his hand at F2, driving for the London Racing team and then for Frank Williams. Realising he was not quick enough, he established March in '69 with Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. He ran its F1 operation until the end of '77 when he left to became FOCA's legal advisor. He played a leading role in the FISA-FOCA war of '80-81 as right-hand man to Bernie Ecclestone. After the Concorde Agreement Mosley took three years away from the sport but returned in '86 as president of the FISA manufacturers' commission. In '91 he beat Jean-Marie Balestre in the election of the FISA president and this year became FIA president.

Lars Osterlind

Date of birth: 8/5/45

Nationality: Swedish

A language teacher in his early twenties, Osterlind graduated from Stockholm University with a masters in social science and has since worked in management training. Worked the Swedish Employers confederation for five years before setting up his own training book and video distribution company. He now heads the Swedish Management Group. Became president of the Swedish Automobile Federation in 1982 and joined the FISA World Council in 1985. Elected FIA Vice-President this year.

Marco Piccinini

Born 1952

Member of the board of several banks and industrial groups, sports director and team manager of Ferrari 1977-1989. president of Italian sporting commission. Elected head of CSAI and FIA vice-president in '93.

Sir John Rogers

Born: 11/1/28

Nationality: British

Educated at Brentwood School, Essex and at the RAF College, Cranwell. A career officer and pilot in the Royal Air Force, he went on to command a fighter squadron before running RAF Coningsby, becoming Deputy Commandant of the RAF College then Director-General Organisation and finally Controller of Aircraft at the Ministry of Defence. He was knighted in 1981 and retired as an Air Chief Marshal in 1986. On the board of First Technology Group and ADT Auctions and Chairman of the RACMSA. A vintage car collector.

Rafael Sierra

Date of birth: 25/7/22

Nationality: Argentinian

A rally co-driver in his youth, he became professor of the automobile at Buenos Aires university and the national military technical college, where he was head of military vehicle research and development. A member of the Automovel Club Argentino from '72 he became president of the ACA's sporting commission.

Kari Sohlberg

Date of birth: 16/10/40

Nationality: Finnish

Worked in German steel industry before joining the GWS metal packaging company, of which he is now chairman and chief executive. He is also on the board of a number of Finnish companies. A keen racing enthusiast, he ran kart teams and became the mentor of Mika Hakkinen. His son Mika Solhberg is a leading Finnish rally driver. President of the Finnish motor sport federation since '82, he joined the World Council this year.

Cesar Torres

Born: 27/2/33

Nationality: Portuguese

Competed for 15 years before turning to organisation. Joined the sporting commission of the Automovel Club de Portugal (ACP) in 1972 and became its president two years later, establishing the Portuguese Rally in the same year. In 1978 he became a FISA vice-president and in two years later was elected president of the ACP itself. In 1984 he succeeded in establishing the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Away from the tracks, Torres worked initially in the car trade, but later became an important figure in tourism and the media. For a brief period in 1990-91 he was Portuguese minister of tourism. Appointed FIA Deputy President (Sport) in '93.

The final member of the World Council is the president of the FIA Manufacturers Commission, although he does not get a vote when the Council discusses F1. When that happens a Ferrari representative is empowered to vote. This is sporting director Jean Todt.