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Rally star Vatanen to run for FIA president
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Rally star Vatanen to run for FIA president
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Jul 2009   |  7:05 pm GMT  |  5 comments

Former world rally champion Ari Vatanen has confirmed that he will run for the FIA presidency in October. Whether he will run against the incumbent, Max Mosley is unclear at the moment.

After a week of intense negotiations it seems that the Formula One Teams Association is making it a condition of signing the new Concorde Agreement that Mosley stands by his promise at the recent FIA world council meeting to stand down at the end of his term in October. If the teams sign the new Concorde Agreement and a legally binding document to work together to reduce costs to early 1990s levels, Mosley may well step down.

It is thought that Mosley would favour Jean Todt as his successor and Vatanen’s emergence as a candidate is fascinating, as he and Todt go back many years to when the Finn used to drive for Peugeot in rally raids, like the Paris Dakar. The two men are still close, apparently. Vatanen has some political experience, having served as a member of the European parliament.

I think the time has come for a change,” said Vatanen today. “My main focus is to reconcile views within the FIA and bring transparency to its stakeholders.”

Having declared himself, Vatanen must now choose a cabinet of 22 people who would serve with him if elected, This is a mechanism Mosley inserted into the FIA constitution to give him early warning of any potential rival, as they would have to sound out possible running mates and he would get to hear about it.

The question many people in F1 have is, will Vatanen’s candidacy make a Todt run for president more or less likely, or might Todt take up a senior role within a Vatanen administration?

Picture 48

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5 Comments
  1. Jose Arellano says:

    anything except mosley will do.. and i like the fact he is a former racer. so he will put more attention on that.

  2. Eric says:

    I would have thought that Todt would still be thought of being too recently involved with Ferrari to remain impartial. Therefore, I don’t think he is likely to win against Vatanen, if he does run, and is more likely to be in a senior position.

    1. James Allen says:

      Despite his long stay at Ferrari there is no love lost there. Ferrari do not want him as FIA president, trust me

  3. artorwar says:

    Well, I think people are a bit harsh on Max at the mo. Seems quite fashionable to be anti-establishment, people have quite short memories though. We have enjoyed many good years with him at the helm. Its easy to try and rewrite history. I’m all for fresh blood but to say that they have done a particularly bad job (Max and Bernie that is) is patently false. I love F1 and they have done a lot for the sport and in Max’s case a lot for road safety. Lets not be too quick to sharpen the knives.

  4. Ray.C. says:

    As Malaysia’s newly appointed tourism minister(nice gig),wouldn’t it make more sense for Todt to support Vatanen rather than contest him,especially now that Ari has put his hand up? We all know how much Todt likes the idea of a clear number 1.
    Don’t know anything about Ari other than that he was a hell of a driver.

    btw… James, Any plans to catch up(officially)with Michael this week-end? Always love to hear what the great one is up to.

    Have a good one.

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