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The FIA. Did you know?

That the election to elect a new president takes place on Friday?

The contenders:

Jean Todt

Ruthless & highly successful French fella, ex of Peugeot Sport and Ferrari. He plans to run it the way Mosely did, just with a few more committees!

Ari Vatanen

The charismatic Finn, former world rally star and MEP. He plans major change and promises to consult all parties to move things forward.

I know who I'd go with. 30+ years following motorsport has taught me something about the FIA

Very good analysis shamelessly lifted from Autosport below:

FIA presidential rivals Jean Todt and Ari Vatanen are both promising a governing body that will be more conciliatory than confrontational, but their opposing views on making change means Friday's election looks set to still be a defining day for the future of motorsport.

In one corner there is Todt, the former Ferrari team principal who has the backing of outgoing president Max Mosley and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. In the other is former rally champion Vatanen, who has more popular support at grass roots level and has campaigned on a ticket for big change within the FIA.

AUTOSPORT gives an analysis of the two men, what they stand for, and looks at what will change if they win Friday's ballot.




KEYWORD: Total commitment


STRENGTHS: Has assembled a strong team around him, and will devote his entire focus to the job in hand with the kind of ruthless efficiency he showed at Peugeot and Ferrari.

WEAKNESSES: Not the most popular of men with fans or the majority of F1 teams, following an often controversial tenure at Ferrari. Questions have also emerged about the nature of his campaign - amid allegations of lobbying from FIA officials and vote buying.


Todt's campaign has been meticulously run, having received the backing of Mosley before he even officially put forward his nomination. It has also been assisted by FIA's former communications manager Richard Woods.

Although some view him as a simple continuation of the Mosley regime, Todt insists he is his own man, and has promised a number of changes to the governing body if he is elected.

He wants to introduce world championship commissioners responsible for the day-to-day operation of each series - in a move that would allow the FIA president to reduce his direct involvement in categories and allow him to focus on more strategic management of the governing body.

Todt also wants to establish a Stewards' Review Group, to try and improve stewarding in the FIA's major championship. He also wants to introduce a separate Disciplinary Panel to carry out investigations, hold hearings and recommend penalties to the World Motor Sport Council.

He is also open to examining the need for reform of the FIA International Court of Appeal.

Todt believes his approach will be important for helping build a more positive image for F1, after a number of scandals that have dogged the sport in recent years.

"My team's approach will be based on consensus not confrontation," he said. "We will make the best use of the F1 Commission and will appoint a new F1 Commissioner to work with all the stakeholders in the F1 Championship.

"We want to further develop F1 so that it benefits all those involved, from teams to fans. As the regulator of a hugely competitive and technically complex sport we will also establish an independent disciplinary panel to investigate breaches of the rules and to recommend the most appropriate response."






STRENGTHS: Keen to ensure FIA breaks with its past, and not afraid to ruffle feathers to bring about change. Would provide a clean split with the Max Mosley administration. He is also the fans' choice.

WEAKNESSES: His campaign has lacked the detailed policies of Todt's, and he stumbled when he falsely accused his rival of benefiting from using FIA private jets for campaigning. Does not have the kind of managerial and FIA experience that Todt has.


Vatanen's campaign is solely about change. He has expressed frustration at the controversies that the FIA has found itself embroiled in and wants to bring about reform to the governing body. He will introduce working group committees to evaluate the best way forward.

His desire to bring about change, and the fact that he is open-minded about what is to be achieved, has left him open to accusations that he does not have detailed policies like Todt.

However, Vatanen has been unmoved by such criticisms and has stuck by his belief that the best way to achieve the right change is to sit down and discuss ideas, not simply impose a will.

When asked by AUTOSPORT about what he would do to bring F1's focus back to the racing rather than the scandals, he said: "The answer to this is to have all of the members of the Formula 1 family sitting around a table and debating the future. This includes the media.

"Tell me, when was the last time the FIA asked for your ideas on the future of the sport? Come on, they haven't; if you criticise F1, you lose your pass. That's not the way. We all play a key part in making the sport more spectacular and more attractive to the masses.

"We can all have the input into unlocking the vast potential which remains in F1. Equally, that has to be combined with an independent judicial system that people have confidence in. When people don't have a fair say, we have seen that it can lead to the potential break-up of F1. We must learn from our mistakes."



Whichever candidate wins, it is clear there will be much to do to heal rifts within the FIA that have been caused by a sometimes bitter election battle for the top job within it.

When asked by AUTOSPORT what their first job would be if elected president, both Vatanen and Todt said it would be about moving forwards.

Vatanen said: "I would analyse all of the situations and then prioritise them to sort out one by one. You need clear analysis without that, talk of what would be is empty words.

"There will be clear changes before the end of the year. It will not be business as usual for the FIA."

Todt added: "To thank the members of the FIA for their trust and support and begin the task of healing divisions created by some of the negative aspects of the election campaign."

AUTOSPORT will bring you the latest news from the election as it happens on Friday.

Ari is a really nice guy but nice guys never win even if his future plans were spot-on.

Jean will no doubt win, he's in Ecclestone's pocket and will doubtless carry on where Max left-off.

Fingers crossed Ari wins.

Ari Ari Ari Oi Oi Oi

Big-up da flyin Finn!!

Classic in-car Manta footage - 34 secs into the vid!!

Outstanding driver. I saw him give a speech once and he mentioned the Morris Marina, which they were still making at the time. How old am I

He would be a breath of fresh air but will the massive committee that is the FIA take the safe bet instead?

There is an interesting blog on one of the websites about Colin McRae BTW Forum Index -> Motorsport
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