The Guardian newspaper is reporting that FIA president Max Mosley has sent a stern letter to Prince Feisal, of the Jordanian Royal family, warning that the candidate he supports in the FIA election later this month ‘will lose and lose badly’. Prince Feisal has been nominated by Vatanen as one of his vice presidents on the sporting side.
The gloves are now well and truly off in the fight to be elected Mosley’s successor. The support of Prince Feisal was quite a decisive win for Ari Vatanen and could change the dynamic of the Middle East quite considerably. Mosley is openly supporting the other candidate, Jean Todt.
Prince Feisal has been hosting a conference this week in Amman on the future of motoring and motor sport in the region.
Sir Jackie Stewart played a prominent role in the conference, calling for a change of leadership. He is very close to the royal family in Jordan; the late King Hussein was godfather to Jackie’s son, Paul. Stewart is a long-time vocal opponent of Mosley.
Mosley’s letter warned that Vatanen’s recent negative comments about his governance and ‘autocracy’ would divide the FIA membership,
“Any thoughts that after this election everyone in motorsport can unite and work together can now be forgotten. It is not possible to make statements like Vatanen’s and then expect the victims of those insults to forget what has been said. The simple fact is that Vatanen will lose the election and lose badly, not least because he chose to denigrate the FIA and those currently in office.”
Prince Feisal is quoted in the Jordan Times saying, “Jordan has always maintained a strong relationship with the FIA president, so I am deeply disappointed by the content and the insinuations of his letter which have raised serious questions as to the credibility of the upcoming and future elections.”
“Jordan was delighted to welcome Max to Jordan for our inaugural World Rally Championship round last year, an event that I am pleased to report will return in 2010,” he said.
He called for the FIA to have an “ethics commission” and said, “I strongly propose that proper bidding structures and processes should be introduced for countries wishing to join major championships like Formula One and the WRC, which will further raise the bar in terms of their quality and organisation.”