Tim Goss Resigns as FIA’s Single-Seater Technical Director, Marking Third High-Level Departure

Renowned engineer Tim Goss has stepped down from his position as the FIA's single-seater technical director, as reported by BBC Sport.

Mark Phelan

By Mark Phelan
Updated on February 5, 2024

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Tim Goss, a prominent figure in the engineering world, has recently vacated his post as the single-seater technical director at the FIA, the international governing body of motorsports, according to BBC Sport.

Goss is anticipated to join a Formula 1 team, marking his departure as the third high-profile resignation from the FIA in the past month. His exit follows closely on the heels of Steve Nielsen, the former sporting director, and Deborah Mayer, who led the FIA’s commission for women.

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Steve Nielsen’s position will be taken over by Tim Malyon, who has been serving as the FIA’s safety director since 2021. However, the FIA has yet to announce a successor for Goss’s now-vacant role.

Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s single-seater director explained: “We are disappointed to lose a person of Tim’s calibre from the organisation. Tim has played a major part in the technical department and has always operated to the highest level.

“We understand that his career is taking a new direction going forward and we support and respect his desire to pursue another path.”

An FIA statement quoted Goss saying: “I believe the organisation is on a firm footing in terms of technical expertise for the tasks which lie ahead – particularly the introduction of the 2026 regulations.”

Goss, aged 60, holds a distinguished reputation as an engineer. He spent many years at McLaren, where he ascended through the ranks to become the technical director from 2014 to 2018. His departure from McLaren was a consequence of organisational changes prompted by the team’s declining competitive performance. Subsequently, Goss moved to the FIA.

Who is Tim Malyon?

Tim Malyon embarked on his FIA journey in 2019 as the head of research, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his tenure as the chief engineer for BMW’s Formula E team.

The Canadian professional’s career in motorsports is extensive. He served as the head of engineering at Sauber in Formula 1 from 2015 to 2016. Prior to this role, he was involved with BMW in the DTM German Touring Car Championship. Additionally, Malyon has a history with Red Bull in F1, where he contributed as an engineer.

Tombazis commented: “Tim has a wealth of motorsport experience and expertise at the highest level. He will play a major role as we continue to bring rigour to our sporting and regulatory practices and procedures, and he will drive the innovation we have brought to our race control operation.”

Niels Wittich will maintain his position as the race director, a role he assumed in 2022 following the exit of his predecessor Michael Masi from the FIA. Wittich will report to Tim Malyon.

Masi faced dismissal after errors in rule enforcement during the 2021 F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi. His mishandling of a restart after a late safety-car period enabled Max Verstappen to overtake Lewis Hamilton on the final lap, shifting the world title from the British driver to the Dutchman.

F1’s Reaction to the FIA’s Recent Changes

The FIA’s loss of three senior figures in a brief period has sparked concerns within the sport. A high-ranking insider expressed to BBC Sport that the organization is in “a total mess”.

There has been no official statement from the FIA regarding Deborah Mayer’s departure. However, it’s understood that she chose not to seek reappointment after her term ended.

Nielsen, known for his three decades of respected experience in F1 sporting management, left due to his belief that the FIA was resistant to necessary changes in its race-control operations.

Sources indicate that Goss shared Nielsen’s frustrations with the FIA’s internal workings and was also dissatisfied with the process for establishing the new 2026 F1 technical rules. These rules involve new hybrid engines with a greater electric power component and revamped aerodynamics.

The nature of these three departures vary, but collectively, they put the FIA’s leadership under Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who has been involved in multiple controversies since his election in December 2021, under scrutiny.

Recently, the FIA faced backlash from F1 and all F1 teams over a compliance investigation involving Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff and his wife Susie, the director of the F1 Academy. The investigation, spurred by a magazine report about a potential conflict of interest, was widely criticised within F1 and was quickly closed following strong statements from Mercedes, F1, and other teams denying any complaint.

This incident is part of a deteriorating relationship between F1 and the FIA on several issues.

Ben Sulayem announced in February last year that he would reduce his direct involvement in F1 following various controversies since his election, including past sexist comments. Despite this, he has continued to influence behind the scenes, as evidenced by recent incidents, including summoning Wolff and Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur to the stewards for swearing in a press conference.

Source: BBC Sport

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About The Author

Senior Editor

Mark Phelan
Mark Phelan

Mark is a staff writer specialising in the history of Formula 1 races. Mark researches most of our historic content from teams to drivers and races. He has followed Formula 1 since 1988, and admits to having a soft spot for British drivers from James Hunt and Nigel Mansell to Lando Norris. He loves a great F1 podcast and has read pretty much every drivers biography.

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