Jean Todt for FIA President - FORMULA 1


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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jean Todt for FIA President

Former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has confirmed that he will stand for the presidency of the FIA later this year.

Just 24 hours after outgoing president Max Mosley endorsed Todt as the ideal candidate to replace him, the Frenchman has confirmed that he does intend to put himself forward for election.

He is the second candidate to put himself forward, with former world rally champion Ari Vatanen having announced his campaign last week.

Speaking about his decision to stand and revealing the key figures behind his bid, Todt said: "Following the decision of Max Mosley not to seek a further term of office and his unequivocal support of my candidacy, I have written to the FIA membership to inform them that I wish to stand for the presidency of the FIA.

"It is my intention to continue and expand the outstanding work of President Mosley, who for 16 years has worked tirelessly to strengthen the FIA's major motorsport championships and to position the FIA as the voice of the motoring public, actively promoting safe, clean and affordable mobility for all.

"Given the unique structure of the FIA and its twin roles in sport and mobility it takes more than a president to run the organisation and I am delighted to announce my leadership team.

"For the position of deputy president for mobility I would propose Brian Gibbons, chief executive of the New Zealand Automobile Association; for deputy president for sport I would propose, Graham Stoker, chairman of the Council of the UK's Motor Sports Association; and for president of the Senate I would propose Nick Craw, president of ACCUS and the current FIA deputy president (sport).

"I am confident that together we will offer the FIA the opportunity to elect a dynamic leadership team of outstanding experience and commitment. "

Mosley revealed his preference for Todt as the man to replace him in a letter to FIA member clubs on Wednesday, confirming that he was going to step down when his current term expires in October.

"Jean is unquestionably the outstanding motorsport manager of his generation and arguably of any generation," wrote Mosley.

"If he agrees to stand, I think he would be the ideal person to continue but also to extend the work of the past 16 years. He can be relied on in all areas where the FIA is active. I very much hope you will give him your support."

Todt's bid to stand as FIA president is likely to generate controversy in F1 - coming just weeks after teams suggested that they would prefer an 'independent' candidate who did not have any previous links to teams.

Furthermore there have been times throughout his Ferrari tenure, particularly during the numerous team orders controversies involving Michael Schumacher, that Todt earned fierce criticism from fans and media for putting his team ahead of the sport.