Mike ‘Herbie’ Blash will be stepping down from his role as Deputy Race Director by the end of the year after 20 years.
Blash took on his role in 1996, after previously working with F1 engine supplier Yamaha and forging his F1 career through being a mechanic at Lotus and Brabham through the 1960s/70s.
The changes by Jean Todt reflect a desire to introduce new people into key roles within the governing body. Blash will be replaced by current FIA Safety Director Laurent Mekies, who used to be an engineer for both Minardi and Toro Rosso.
“I would personally like to thank Herbie for all of his hard work for the FIA over the past 21 years, and especially for his contribution in maintaining Formula One’s place at the pinnacle of motor sport,” said Todt.
He added: “Replacing someone with Herbie’s immense experience was never going to be easy. However, we are fortunate to be able to appoint Laurent Mekies to this position. Laurent brings a wealth of Formula One experience, and has been responsible for driving the FIA’s safety agenda since joining us.”
“I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Herbie for his years of tireless work for our sport. It has been a huge pleasure to be alongside him for almost two decades,” said FIA Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting. “Of course Herbie will be hard to replace but, with Laurent’s extensive experience in F1, I’m sure he will be a worthy replacement, he will also be able to bring a new dimension of experience to our team of F1 officials.”