The newly-elected FIA president, who took over the role from Jean Todt in December, outlined his plans to reform the organisation when he chaired his first World Motor Sport Council meetings digitally on Thursday. 

In a statement released on Friday, the FIA said “governance topics such as transparency and collaboration were at the heart” of the meetings and announced an intention to conduct a “fully independent financial audit”. 

As part of the restructure, Ben Sulayem has formed a CEO Recruitment Working Group “to assist the presidential team in determining the key attributes required of a CEO to manage the operational affairs of the federation".

"A new era has begun for the FIA, through the creation of a governance framework founded on openness and global diversity," said Ben Sulayem.

"This is a key pillar of our strategy and I warmly thank the World Councils' members, who have approved the changes. Responsibility and authority of World Councils, which emanate from our members, will be increased.

"A more effective oversight model will be designed, stakeholders' priorities will be aligned, and a responsibly profitable FIA operation will be ensured.

"To reach these objectives, the federation's governing bodies and administration will work closely together to make the FIA the global voice of motor sport and mobility.”

The FIA also announced former Williams and McLaren sporting director Sam Michael as the new president of the Safety Commission, replacing Sir Patrick Head. 

Michael was among several new appointments made by the FIA, including Felipe Massa becoming the new President of the Drivers’ Commission, and Deborah Mayer succeeding Michele Mouton as the president of the Women in Motorsport Commission. 

Ben Sulayem’s reform plan is not related to the ongoing review into last season’s controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

Findings from that investigation are set to be presented at the next meeting of the F1 Commission on February 14, with any changes to be approved by the next WMSC meeting ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.