After 20 years working across all areas of Irish motorsport, Dr. Paul Rea will take up the position of FIA Head of Medical and Rescue in February 2021. An experienced Doctor with a special interest in musculoskeletal injury, motorsport medicine, medical devices and occupational medicine, Paul is Senior Associate GP Partner with Centric Health based in Dublin.
Paul is a sitting member of the Motorsport Ireland Medical Sub Commission and previously served on the Motorsport Ireland Safety Advisory Group. Over the years he has been heavily involved in motorsport rescue training and delivering medical briefings to rescue crews. Paul is also an experienced Chief Medical Officer having fulfilled the role on many rally events across the island of Ireland and he was recently instrumental in creating the Motorsport Ireland Return to Sport document in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rea will relocate from Ireland to Switzerland to take up the role with the FIA in early February, and will work closely with Dr. Ian Roberts and Dr. Ian Dunbar to oversee the medical and rescue components of the FIA’s safety departments.
“It’s a medical role overseeing all medical aspects in the FIA, such as F1, WRC, WTCC, WRX, and Formula E.” Rea told Radio Kerry. “It’s a broad spectrum, all medical aspects like day to day licensing of competitors to investigations of serious accidents.”
“I’ve been involved in motorsport for a long time. I cut my teeth in the 80s following the Circuit of Ireland before linking up with Killarney District Motor Club and Kerry Motor Club, marshalling and timekeeping on the Rally of the Lakes and the Banner Rally. The bug took off from there. I’ve been Chief Medical Officer for Motorsport Ireland for a few years. It’s a hobby, and I love it.” Rea continued.
“The opportunity came up for the role and I went for it and I’m delighted to have been offered it. It’s an opportunity and a half and it will allow me to broaden my knowledge at the highest level.”
While Mota attended every F1 race, Rea’s role is to be more diverse. While he will attend F1 races, he will also attend World Rally events, as well as Rallycross, and Formula E.
“I’ll be attending a few races so, for Formula 1, the vast majority of my work will be in F1.” Rea said. “Covid testing is a big challenge there, and a lot of focus there and responsibility over COVID will be ones of my roles.”
“I’ll be working closely with Dr. Ian Roberts in a medical capacity in Geneva, as well as on the ground to ensure people in the paddock are tested and safe. From a rescue aspect, such as Dr. Ian Dunbar, we’ve to make sure that all the crews across all the disciplines are up to scratch and fully qualified. It’s an overseeing position within the FIA.”