The Formula One Teams' Association has announced that Oliver Weingarten, the former in-house lawyer at English Premier League soccer, is to replace Simone Perillo as its secretary general.
Perillo was appointed to the role after the formation of FOTA in 2008, and helped guide the teams' body through the difficult Concorde Agreement negotiations the following year. The Italian is leaving FOTA after this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, however, to pursue interests in politics back in his native Italy. There has been speculation this could even include a tie-up with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who has long been surrounded by rumors that he could consider running for prime minister in Italy in the future.
Weingarten will begin his official duties at FOTA next week, but is at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix to meet the teams.
FOTA Chairman Martin Whitmarsh said: "I'm delighted to welcome Oliver to FOTA, where his experience of Premier League football, together with his commercial, legal and public policy expertise, will be extremely valuable to all member teams.
"The next few years will be a crucial time for the sport of Formula 1 and, working in close collaboration with the FIA and FOM, FOTA will play a very important role in shaping the future of our great sport. Oliver will play a significant part in that process.
"Finally, I want to pay tribute to Simone, Oliver's predecessor as Secretary General, who is leaving FOTA in order to pursue an exciting career in a very different field. Simone's wise counsel, political savvy and phenomenal work-rate have impressed Formula 1 stakeholders across a wide range of disciplines, and on behalf of all of FOTA I wish him well for the future."