Major FIA staff boost as former McLaren chief lands critical new role

Thomas Maher
The FIA logo, as pictured on a motorhome.

The FIA logo visible on a motorhome in the F1 paddock.

The FIA has appointed a former McLaren aerodynamic technical staffer to lead their technical auditing department.

Marianne Hinson has taken up the role of the FIA’s Technical Head of Auditing, assuming responsibility for keeping track of what the F1 teams do in their respective wind tunnels and across their aerodynamic development and computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Every team is restricted in terms of their hours allocated for such development, with World Champions Red Bull getting the fewest hours, with a sliding scale of hours down to last-placed Haas.

Marianne Hinson starts new role with FIA

Taking to her LinkedIn profile, Hinson spoke with pride about starting the new role at the FIA, which will see her actively monitoring and auditing how each team uses their allocated hours.

“Well, this is going to be different…” she said.

“After nearly 10 years at McLaren and 23 years in F1 teams, I’m doing something different. I’ve done some consultancy and enjoyed a bit of a break over the summer.

“But I couldn’t stay away from F1 for long. I’m joining the FIA as Head of Technical Audit for F1.

“I keep hearing the phrase “from poacher to gamekeeper” but that makes it sound like I was up to something dodgy before which I categorically wasn’t!

“Looking forward to getting stuck in, and to seeing some familiar faces on my visits. Though I’ll never be able to let you know in advance that I’m coming! Be kind to us, we are all in it for the sport…” recommends

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Hinson most recently had been working with McLaren, where she had spent 10 years. Initially joining as Head of Aero Technology, she became the team’s departmental manager for aerodynamics before her departure in May 2023.

Prior to her McLaren stint, she had put in tenures as an aerodynamicist with Jordan, Toyota, and Force India, before heading up Caterham’s aerodynamics department between 2010 and ’12.

The FIA’s Nikolas Tombazis recently confirmed the governing body intends to step up to unannounced doorstop visits they will carry out at F1 team factories in order to audit their programmes.

With the FIA’s technical auditing staff increased, Tombazis said the aim is to be able to show up unannounced and the teams required to give access.

As for how long they expect to wait at a team’s gates, Tombazis said no more than “10 to 15 minutes.”

“We want to get to a point where it really happens quite immediately, so that we don’t have to wait another hour or more for the entrance.” has approached the FIA for comment on the appointment of Marianne Hinson and the status of Dominic Harlow’s role as the governing body’s previous Head of Auditing.

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