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Ward goes on the offensive in early stages of FIA presidential campaign
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Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Sep 2013   |  11:43 am GMT  |  30 comments

David Ward, who is opposing Jean Todt for the presidency of the FIA has launched a second press release in two days (the third in the last five days), accusing Todt of misusing the office of president to campaign for votes.

“The FIA arranges and pays for meetings around the world, including to discuss how regions will benefit from future FIA activities and resources,” says Ward’s statement. “It emerges that, at these meetings, a number of clubs have been asked to sign formal written commitments to support Jean Todt’s re-election bid, in the form of ‘support agreements’.”

Ward’s own comment on the situation is, “It is vital that the FIA election processes are conducted in a fair, democratic and transparent manner. I believe that demanding signature of support agreements in these circumstances represents a serious violation of the FIA’s rules, regulations and ethical code.

“The complaint will enable the Ethics Committee to investigate the legitimacy of these agreements, the circumstances in which signatures were demanded, and whether it is an appropriate use of the FIA’s resources for its staff and management to pursue Mr. Todt’s personal re-election ambitions at official FIA regional meetings”.

It is believed that these allegations relate to a visit to South America.

Following on from Ward’s letter to the FIA administration department asking for reassurances that both candidates would be given equal opportunity and coverage as well as calling for independent monitoring of the election process, Ward is calling into question Todt’s probity at an early stage of the campaign.

Todt told reporters at the weekend that there isn’t much he can do if a local president offers him support, sometimes as a reaction to press criticism of him.

Clearly this is going to be a campaign which is not only bloody, but also played out in the media.

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30 Comments
  1. AlexD says:

    He already lost it here…

    1. F430-Fox says:

      Who is “he”? Todt or Ward?

      Just trying to understand your comment …

  2. Simon says:

    Great article! Jean Todt is continuing to bend the rules and that’s how Ferrari (and Schumacher) became champions when he was there.

    Motorsport has so much politics and other consipiracies (like Webber’s race starts) that the best talents like Lewis Hamilton and Alonso do not win championship year after year. That’s quite unlike other sports such as tennis.

    David Ward seems to be the kind of guy who would bring reforms to motorsport politics–and that will put an end to the current winning streak by Vettel, who clearly doesn’t understand Multi21.

    1. Wayne says:

      Or the flip side of this argument is that Ward is very much from the Moseley mould and is already out to win by any means, even if it means dragging F1 through the mud to suit his personal agenda. Obviously I do not know which is right, but thought I’d offer an alternative.

      Excuse me for being slightly rude, but the rest of your post is just confused. This has nothing to do with VET or Ferrari or SCHU.

    2. Marcus in Canada says:

      Wow, you got a ot more out of that article than I did…

    3. SV4WC says:

      Nonsense, sounds like someone is a little bitter…..

    4. Uwe says:

      So you support Ward because he will force Vettel to follow team orders? *LOL*

  3. K says:

    S##t just got real.

  4. Elie says:

    I couldn’t understand Wards instantaneous requests now I understand why.. This might be a harder fight than the cars on track over the next few months !

  5. Alanis Morrisette says:

    Jean Todt is one of the most cuddly looking men I have ever seen. When he comes on screen, I just want to reach out and nuzzle him. However, those looks don’t fool once you’ve gazed into his eyes. He is an immense strategist, a deep, deep thinker and a fierce competitor.

    Ward will have to fight very, very dirty to beat him. This election would be better off being fought in a dungeon it’s going to be so grim. And we know FIA Presidents have form in those.

    1. Elie says:

      “You ought to know”- ( sorry couldn’t resist it) !

  6. Scott D says:

    I think the whole direction of F1 has taken a wrong turn these past few years (DRS, KERS, compulsory tyre stops, liquorice tyres, the farce that is current qualifying, etc), as it no longer represents pure racing. We have seen that the best teams win anyway so why make it so artificial? I have no time for Todt and his environmental agenda and would welcome a fresh approach, so bring it on…

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Most of the things you complain about there came about from the teams working groups and Bernie rather than as of a consequence of Todts presidency. And as Ward isn’t against those things it’s a bit strange. He’s all for environmental credentials for F1. As are the teams with manufacturer backing. It’s also brought Honda back into play so its been good for something.

      Now if a presidential platform said ‘OK teams we’re taking this out of your hands – we want ground effect and mechanical grip and we’re banning these wing developments and sizes and making blown floors physically impossible’ then I’d support him or her. Course it would never happen because too many people would complain that limiting aero is not allowing engineers free reign. So you can’t win! :)

    2. ManOnWheels says:

      I like the actual qualifying, one of the best changes in recent times. What I deeply dislike is the DRS wing. They should try to go back to an aerodynamic setup that is more dominated by ground effect than today. The wings are notoriously problematic in dirty air, ground effect is pretty stable in these conditions. So simpler wings and little more ground effect should allow for drivers to follow each other much closer in corners leading onto straights, allowing classic passing moves without DRS.

    3. Random 79 says:

      “The farce that is current qualifying”

      I don’t get that. It might not be perfect, but these days I find it more entertaining to watch the qualifying than some of the races.

      1. Scott D says:

        To clarify, my criticism of qualifying is not the format itself, but the fact that Q3 no longer encourages all teams to participate. Preserving tyres has no place in qualifying, they should all get out there and do the fastest lap possible.

      2. Wayne says:

        I’m happy with the qualy set-up. It’s the tyres that have caused teams to sit out not the session make-up itself.

      3. Random 79 says:

        Yep agreed 100%

        All the teams who make it through to Q3 should get an extra set of tyres to burn just for that session.

        Come on FIA, make it happen!

  7. Brendan says:

    Its not hard to see the ex-politico and Mosley connections. Lets focus on bringing up dirt on the other guy rather than talk about what we’d do better.

    Safer with him not near the presidents office.

  8. Tony says:

    For me this underlines Martin Whitmarsh’s comments in support of Jean Todt’s style of leadership without intrigue, hyperbole and undue melodrama.

    Now we have a Mosely aligned candidate and 2 days in we have this tabloid character attack.

    Whether the complaint is justified or not the style is a complete turnoff and reminds me just how glad I was to see the back of Mosely.

    1. Erik says:

      Yeah, + infinity

    2. Wayne says:

      Could not agree more. I had no opinion one way or the other before this but now I think I’d prefer Todt to stay in place.

  9. Erik says:

    What do you know, Mosley is back on the scene via his new puppet and once again the F1 media is full of accusations and contreversy. I for one don’t miss the dirty old codger.

    Anyone associated with him is smeared with the same crap.

    Didn’t rate Todt first time round (same political association with Mosley), but he has kept his head down and got on with it, as opposed to taking the F1 world to task any chance he colud to publicly demonstrate his own political power (aka Mosley). This Ward bloke reeks of that same attitude – ooo didn’t want to run but had no choice.. whatever…

    Hope Todt gets back in.

    1. Karen says:

      Erik – Spot on! This Ward guy is using Mosley as that’s the best he can come up with building his ‘non existent profile’ up in the sporting world! talk about ‘hanger on to Max’

    2. Baghetti says:

      Bernie is a true master, Ward is much more a Bernie puppet than he is a Mosley puppet yet people only make the connection with good old Max…

  10. Anne says:

    It´s really sad this current state of affairs in FIA.

  11. Dmitry says:

    James, why did Ari Vatanen decide to skip these elections?
    Am I alone or anyone else think both candidates are not quite “right” for this job?
    I don’t like Todt since the period that should not be named, though I must admit he admirably didn’t openly show any Ferrari links\affection\ties. If I had to describe his work during the his first term I would use words “quiet”, “low profile”… possibly sometimes “too quiet”. He is not a bad president, but I can’t say he is the one, that should move FIA and F1 forward (a I am not sure who is).
    The second one – David Ward… to me it looks like he just wants to grab a big piece of a pie and make others play by his rules\liking\thinking. I think he would have been good at some authoritarian company… Apple, for example… But in FIA – international federation – no way. I really hope this view is shared by clubs.
    So, if I have to choose from these 2, I would have gone for Todt.

  12. Karen says:

    I totally agree with Tony.

    This Ward guy seems to be running to the headmaster after a few days! How can this guy be taken seriously to become FIA President? if he cannot do nothing but run to any committee for help! its weak if you ask me.

    Jean Todt clearly demonstrates strong leadership skills… he, like Bernie can hold there own in a fish bowl full of Piranhas.

    And seriously do the FIA Clubs really want to go backwards to the Mosley era? Jean Todt may not be a media seeking kinda guy, but he has done a good job, keeps his head down and gets on with it…. they way it should be. Look at where the media attention got Max!

    And lastly, this Ward guy was in politics…. an ex Politian that’s all we need in F1 (not) -might as well have David Cameron to become a candidate! No sporting background in his or Ward’s blood, whereas Jean Todt it’s running thick and fast through his veins.

  13. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

    I hope I am wrong, but I have not heard anything good Jean Todt did since appointed FIA president, quite the opposite!
    This current rumours sound very much like Todt.. just remember his Ferrari years.
    I hope Ward wins so at least there is a chance for something positive to happen.

  14. Paul Kirk says:

    Personally, I see Todt as a stable, non contrversial leader who doesn’t make waves but gets things done without upsetting people.
    I dunno wot to think about Ward, but he seems to be a bit of a shit stirrer, and the fact he is tied up with Moseley scares me like Hell!
    If the truth be known he is probably a front man for Moseley!
    I say, if you want to keep things calm, plesant and straight, “vote for Todt”.
    PK.

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