Formula One stalwart ‘Herbie’ Blash is to stand down as Deputy Race Director at the end of the season.
After 50 years in the sport, first working for Rob Walker in 1965 – then for Lotus and then Team Manager at Brabham, Blash has held the role of ‘Deputy Race Director’ for the last 20 years and has overseen the running of events alongside Race Director Charlie Whiting.
He will be replaced by Laurent Mekies, who has previously worked at Toro Rosso and more recently for the FIA as Safety Director.
“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. Along with Charlie, Herbie has been instrumental in the seamless running of grand prix races for over two decades, and we are pleased that he will continue to work with the FIA in future.
“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. Combining his strong Formula One history and work as the FIA’s Safety Director, I am confident that he will ensure that the FIA’s flagship single-seater championship continues to set the benchmark for race management and safety – a status that his predecessor, Herbie, can take great pride in helping to nurture.”