The world of motorsport takes safety very seriously. The lives of drivers are of the utmost importance in a field that is inherently dangerous. Accidents in the past, such as the 1955 Le Mans disaster, have shaped how safety is implemented today, particularly in Formula One.
Of the various organizations that implement safety regulations, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) is perhaps the most famous. It offers a watch over the quick paced sport, constantly changing rules to make it ever safer. But what do we really know about this organization and its methods? How did it start and where is it going? In order to explore some of these questions, lets take a look at the history of the group and see all that they have done.
A Brief History
The non-profit association was first established on 20 June 1904 as the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus. The group represented the interest of various motoring organisations during this early period.
The group went to several reconstructions during this early period, delegating powers to the Comission Sportive Internationale de la FIA which eventually became FISA in 1922. However, in 1993 FIA took control back, becoming the direct management of motorsport.
Relationship to the Car World
Its relationship with Formula One began at the sports origins in 1946, setting standards for the sports rules. Eventually this led to them setting standards for the Drivers World Championship in 1950. A key point for FIA came in 1953 where it organised the World Sportscar Championship under the first point series system. Other key historical events included its origanisation of the World Rally Champsionship in 1973, the World Touring Car Championship in 1987, as well as the National Hot Rod Association in 1993.
The FIA follows a structure similar to a parliament. The General Assembly, which run by presidents of the FIA’s member clubs, elects a single President who acts as the head of the FIA and chairman of the General Assembly. He or she is elected for a four-year term by the Assembly and cannot serve for more than two terms. Perhaps the most famous of these was Max Mosley who was embroiled in a scandal in 2005.
Additionally the FIA has a Senate that makes budget decisions, the World Council for Mobility and Automobile governing all non-sporting activities, and the World Motor Sports council that governs the actual sporting events. The FIA even has a judicial system called the International Court of Appeal which acts as tribunal for all motorsport affairs.