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Presidential candidate David Ward pushes FIA on support letters
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Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Oct 2013   |  10:12 am GMT  |  27 comments

Presidential candidate David Ward has written to FIA Clubs around the world, who will vote to elect a president in December, suggesting that the FIA’s election rules could prevent any candidate from being eligible to challenge the incumbent Jean Todt.

Ward has been upset by letters of support already gathered by Todt and his team and has already challenged him for using a trip on FIA business to garner support for the election.

His latest letter, designed to embarrass Todt, claims that because Todt has already got letters of support from 11 of 12 North American clubs in a meeting in Montevideo, there is only one club left to nominate a vice president for sport, which is a condition of the election. Election rules say that a presidential candidate must have 16 candidates for key roles alongside him including 7 Vice Presidents for Sport (Middle ‐ East, Africa, North America, South America and Asia Pacific and two such Vice Presidents from Europe). The election rules certainly make it easier for the incumbent and give him an early warning of how the support is shaping up as the challenger seeks allies from among the FIA clubs.

Ward is looking to disrupt the process and time will tell whether the tactic will be successful in knocking Todt off his stride at this early stage of the election. Early shows of support from the leading F1 team owners in Monza and the successful conclusion of a bilateral agreement with the commercial rights holder have given Todt a strong start to his campaign.

Ward said, “The absurd situation in which just one club in North America may determine whether or not there can be a challenger to Jean Todt risks turning the FIA election into a farce. It shows clearly the detrimental effect that the Montevideo support agreement is having on the 2013 election. If any of the signatories decide to provide a Vice President to a rival candidate they have no alternative but to face the embarrassment of breaking a commitment of support for Jean Todt that they made in his presence at the Montevideo meeting – an agreement which was then subject to a photo-call and a press announcement. This is why I am asking for the support letters to be recognised as a clear breach of the FIA’s rules and revoked in my complaint to the Ethics Committee”.

Ward has also rubbished suggestions that he is a stalking horse candidate for a return by former FIA president Max Mosley, “That is rubbish,” Ward told Autosport this week. “I cannot deny that Max is a friend and I have worked with him on and off for 20 years. I think he did a very good job as FIA president, and I also think he had the most appalling problems to deal with at the end of his term.

“But he has moved in to a completely different period of his life where the work he is doing, taking on Rupert Murdoch and improving privacy legislation, is fantastic. I think his public reputation has been transformed because of this.”

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27 Comments
  1. Dai Dactic says:

    It’s all your fault, Machiavelli – you shouldn’t have written that book.

    F1 climbs on the band-wagon of 500yrs. of disruption.

    1. laurie says:

      Guaranteed that Todt has read ‘ll Principe’, and if Ward hasn’t there’s still enough time.
      Even just the references to Cesare Borgia should give Ward sufficient direction on how to reduce Todt’s effectiveness.

  2. Ed Ratcliff says:

    A farce.. indeed, seems to have been that way for some time- have read quite a few comments from people past and present within F1 desperate for a “regime” change. Seems many decisions are so heavily biased and often, for personal reasons rather than being the best course of action.

  3. madmax says:

    Well, at least he isn’t going to go down without a fight.

  4. Bonaventura says:

    David Ward seems to be a bit of a moaner.
    Apart from his unrealistic agenda he spends most of his time complaining about Todt and the FIA.
    He’ll lose just like Ari Vatanen did, mudslinging is not a constructive campaign.

    1. Been wondering about the “approach” which seems so similar to what has been happening in the U.S. The format seems to be “blame the other guy” and buy the votes with give-aways. Maybe that’s what “politics” has always been, it’s just more blatant these days, suppose?

      James, has this Ward fella ever done anything to contribute in a positive way?

      1. James Allen says:

        He’s been active behind the scenes on thinks like EuroNCAP, road safety campaigns, some sporting matters

  5. Gudien says:

    Elections are almost always contentious events, especially when there are millions of pounds at stake.

    I’m aware of Jean Todt’s credentials as a Peugeot sports car team leader as well as his time at Ferrari. What exactly does an FIA President do other than act as a thorn in the side of F-1 Bernie E., team owners, and drivers?

    1. Richard says:

      Maybe take a look at the mandates, statutes, governance procedures, institutes and campaigns managed by the FIA on their easily accessible website instead of just reading F1 media crap… no harm intended against James, of course :)

      Regarding David Ward’s comments and this blog, he does indeed seem a bit of a moaner! Why doesn’t he focus on all the positive amazing things HE will bring instead of saying that it was wrong of Todt to use his influence in such a benign way? So what if Todt made some friends while in power, what else are we to expect!?!?

      1. Gudien says:

        Thanks, Richard, for the education. In the future I’ll endeavor to read ‘FIA mandates, statutes, and governance procedures rather than sites such as this one.

        Your comment in the last sentence is exactly what I was referring to in my first sentence.

        Cheers

      2. Richard says:

        Ah don’t be so hard on yourself… ;) I wasn’t arguing anything, just saying that there’s a hell of a lot of work that the FIA do so the President probably has his hands quite full… Your comment was suggesting they do nothing but act as a political buffer to Bernie!

  6. Scott D says:

    What a ridiculous process – I think the FIA are in urgent need of reform.

    1. Richard says:

      Any comment on why or how?

      1. Scott D says:

        I think paragraph 3 of the article says it all really in that one country can effectively determine an election result. It is not for me to advise what reforms should be made or how. I am merely commenting on a broken system.

      2. Bonaventura says:

        No that’s not true.
        All but 1 club in that zone have stated that they support Jean Todt for another term but there’s nothing to keep them from changing their opinion/vote and support another candidate instead.

        Problem is that the candidate Mr. Ward is not doing a good job of changing people’s opinions.

  7. J says:

    Priceless!
    Ward was part of Max Mosley´s team when the requirement for a “cabinet” prior to the election was mandated by Mosley in 2005. Now that it is workin against the same people he complains about it… Do not recall him complaining about it in 2005!

    1. Richard says:

      Perfect!

  8. Endurance says:

    There is a lot more to motor racing than merely F1

    1. Random 79 says:

      True, but F1 is where the politics is at :)

  9. All revved-up says:

    If it’s possible, could someone explain in a short paragraph or two, why F1 needs the FIA. If its just about an impartial body setting rules, could some of us more impartially minded F1 fans get together and play that role?

    Why not just break away from the FIA?

    I’m asking not because I’m critical of the FIA – but I don’t know the history behind the need for the FIA, and why the FIA?

    1. James Allen says:

      Because they own the FIA F1 World Championship.

      They licence the commercial exploitation of it to Ecclestone and his team.

      Also because the EU Competition Commission stipulated that they must separate regulatory and commercial powers, hence the division of labour

    2. Richard says:

      And surely once in that role, you absolutely would no longer be ‘impartial’ – you (or whatever group) would have your opinions on what to do and would fight to retain the power.

      James – there’s always lots of comments about doing things ‘better’, or just differently, in F1 on the political /rules side of things… How about a section of the blog where we can vote on individual ideas / strategies and see if we can get to any democratically chosen policy, which you could then ‘pitch’ or lobby?

      We could work from high-level to detail – ie vote on a rules topic (Tyres or Aero; FIA voting process or FOTA involvement, etc) and then drill down. Comments can drive the policy and voting process.

      1. James Allen says:

        That’s kind of where the Fans Forum idea started, one of the readers suggestions ended up on a FOTA agenda for vote

  10. Bart says:

    Ward looks very direct in facing the opponent while Jean Todt seems more prone to act behind the scenes.
    A straight forward guy or just no choice?

  11. Liam in Sydney says:

    Ward is realising he has been left at the start gate whiel JT is already off around the first turn. Wake up mate, you’re in a fight. No one is going to give you a fair break.

  12. Russell Ward says:

    Yet another old hack craving for the spotlight,
    get rid of all of them including Bernie and start fresh with no baggage. All these old blokes need to realise that they are servants of the sport, nothing more.

    Russell

  13. Anthony says:

    Although he may well be a moaner and should focus on the positives about himself, he does seem to have a point here.

    Under the rule as quoted above, if one candidate could obtain support from all the countries in say South America, then no other candidate could stand against him. But on the other hand, if another candidate could obtain support from all the countries in say the middle-east, then nobody could stand against that candidate either. Ergo, nobody could stand.

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