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Todt to face strong challenge from Mosley ally in FIA Presidential election
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Aug 2013   |  11:28 am GMT  |  68 comments

Jean Todt will be opposed in the forthcoming FIA presidential elections by David Ward, who was a key ally of former FIA president Max Mosley.

Ward announced his decision today and has resigned as Secretary General of the FIA Foundation to prepare his campaign.

“After much careful thought I have decided to stand as a candidate in the 2013 FIA Presidential election,” said Ward in a statement. “The election period begins in September and it will be necessary for me to approach FIA members to secure nominations. In these circumstances I think that the correct course of action is to resign.

“Election processes inevitably involve robust and lively debate, and whilst the Foundation is independent and there is no legal requirement for me to resign, I believe that it is in the best interests of the charity that I stand down now.”

Candidates must submit their application together with a list of vice presidents between October 23 and November 13. Ward will already have a good understanding of the support he has from the national federations globally to mount a serious challenge to Todt. The Frenchman has travelled widely during his four years at the helm, visting most outposts of the FIA empire, but Mosley was in the job for almost two decades and retains strong influence, not least in the Middle East which carries a lot of influence.

The prospect of facing such a well backed candidate means that Todt will have to devote significant energy to campaign business in the next couple of months, co-incidentally there is still much to do in terms of F1 related issues like tyre supply, signing a new Concorde Agreement.

Todt has pushed hard on Bernie Ecclestone to get more money and more influence for the FIA. Under Mosely the commercial rights for F1 for 100 years from 2011 were sold for around $360 million in total. Todt has argued that times have changed and the FIA should get a further €20 million a year from Ecclestone’s company. The FIA does not have access to significant funds. Todt has been keen to change that.

At the Hungarian Grand Prix in July Ecclestone and Todt issued a statement saying, “The Formula One Group and the FIA have signed an agreement setting out the framework for implementation of the 2013 Concorde Agreement.

“This agreement will come into force upon approval by the respective governing bodies of the signatory parties in the coming weeks.”

It will be interesting to see whether everything goes on hold now until the elections and, should Ward win, it will be interesting to see whether he pursues a similar agenda to Todt with regard to F1’s commercial rights.

It is also possible that the move may be a powerplay to get Todt to back down on some key negotiating points, with Ward able to withdraw his candidacy at any time between now and the election.

Ward is 56 years old and comes from a political background. He was policy adviser to the one time leader of the UK Labour party John Smith and has played roles in many of the FIA’s mobility initiatives including the current Decade of Action for Road Safety programme in conjunction with the UN.

Further analysis of this unfolding situation will follow.

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I conceive you have remarked some very interesting points , regards for the post. geddcgedbgfg


It’s about time all these old ego maniacs called it quits and let some young switched on business people take over and it with no fear or favor or baggage.


Now Moseley has put the blame for ALL of F1’s ills squarely on the shoulders of Todt. Hell hath no fury like an ex-president scorned!


Presidential elections….. :-/

Change is good if only so not to see what happened at the end of the Moseley raign happen again with Todt, when Moseley truly believed he was king over all he surveyed.

Moseley on the F1 show a few weeks ago looks like his anger has not diminished with time – can see him plotting his return….lol

That Moseley was crazy.


this guy campaigned for todt at the last election ; does that make him a todt clone ? let’s hope not !


First, the fia have really nothing to say or do about team finances, Mosley was overstepping there, the teams have to make there own money, and negotiate with fom for more purse, the fia is supposed to be concerned with sanctioning events as formula one world championship events and enforcing the regs, not writing them. Tbat being said, let’s not forget that under the Bernie Max regime, f1 grew to be what it is, only at the end did max dabble outside his pervue, using his power to strong arm beyond his station. Frankly I would like to see someone that would admin the fia within its circle, and stay out of the business end, just my two cents worth


If you hadn’t mentioned it I would not have known Todt is president of anything. What has he exactly done except walk back and forth on the grid before a race with a very depressing look on his face and treating journalists that want to ask questions like they are robbers?

Thanks Todt for cheese tyres, DRS, KERS and next season Opel Manta engines. You did the sport so much good….. not that this Bill Bates lookalike will do any better.


A lot of comments here seem to equate FIA solely with F1, which isn’t the case at all. Maybe it’s because Moseley was so vocal and visible in F1 that we expect that of the FIA president now.

It’s unfair to judge Todt purely on the decisions that affect F1, and with the FIA being a reasonably low-key organisation in itself it’ll be up to the individual to do some digging around to discover whether his tenure has been any good or not.

From an F1 point of view, I think he could have done more. No Concorde agreement, no contracted tire supplier for 2014 & rising costs to the point that midfield teams are in serious financial trouble do not reflect well on him. Which is I find highly unusual, given that he was such an effective team manager before and during F1. He seemed to be the kind of guy to get things done.


Totd may have done so many things as President, but he is not ‘visible’. People really don’t know who he is and what he is doing.


is this not a formality james? i cannot see anyone going against todt and winning. only one man holds the reigns in f1. who did hamilton turn to when he needed a pit pass for roscoe?


[Ward is 56 years old and comes from a political background.]

Changes for good or bad? We’ll have to wait and see but an ally of Max…..

Kris Grzegorczyk

Not keen to have a Mosley ally on the scene, but JT isn’t really doing the business. The treatment of Pirelli has been shambolic (there has never been a supplier so keen to please the fans and teams – even at th expense of its brand), we don’t see or hear from the guy, all the important deals get signed way too late. What has this guy achieved?


Only 13 Comments as I write this, but there doesn’t seem to be too many fans of Todt or the other guy (I’ve forgotten his name already).

Maybe you should nominate yourself James. We’d vote for you 😉


I woul suggest not to judge Mr.ward so harshly just yet…after all everyone (including me) thought that Todt would be a proxy to Max Mosley too, given the very public support he enjoyed from Max. There were even rumors that Max was facilitating Todt’s seeking of votes by provided FIA’s charted planes and what not…

We all now know that Todt was his own man….The fact that Ward resigned prior to election seems to indicate a man of integrity. Lets wait and see how things progress…


Bring back Ari Vatanen I say!! I sooooo wish he’d got the job last time.



Too many teams under severe financial stress.

What are Todt or Ward position and actions to solve this if you have an idea.

Small and medium teams need support of FIA to get some progress on this issue.


“Jean, there’s this mate of Max’s who’s going to run against you.”

“Jean?…. Jean?…..”

“Does anyone know where Jean is?”


Interesting article but I had no idea the commercial rights were sold for $360 million for 100 years? That seems insanely cheap? Off topic I know but does anyone know if that offer was open to other bidders or just to Bernie behind closed doors? I’d have thought at that price there would be more than a few billionaires wanting a slice of that future profits!


Let face it,huh,what did Jean Todt done for F1
since he become a top “Mucho,Mucho man of F1
a sweet (**** all except to give a go ahead
to E-formula? that realy amounts “who cares”
does it gives you goose pimples? I doubt.
If Jean Todt does not nominate or he loose the
election it would be the best thing in F1 since
slice bread.
Max Mosley to some may have been a ” Dictator “
but he was a decssion maker and a mover.


Hi James, what are some of the “some key negotiating points” you refer to in the final paragraphs?

Get Well Soon Murray

Erm.. how many zero’s you have at the end of your bank account balance?


Agree with Quade that we don’t want a clone or ally of Mosley. But what has Todt really achieved with his low public profile?

Hopefully there’ll more yest more candidates fighting the election.




Any devil is better than a clone or ally of Max Mosley. If anyone thinks Pirelli is the worst that could have happened to F1, let them rethink.

Please, not again. To avert catastrophic levels of evil, we should all be fanatically rooting for Jean Todt.


Competition is good ….in anything !!


To avert catastrophic levels of evil…

Brilliant line 🙂


You lost me when it stated…” He comes from a political background’.

We need less of politics, more of practical background with a solid knowledge of the sport in general with a sound financial brain. Someone who can stand up and take all parties into consideration and make a decision without being led by others…..hey, wait on, that’s Bernie!

Forget my comment !


Less politics can only be good. Seriously.


I can’t believe having a Mosley mole would be good for F1. Keep Mosley away!! Hopefully this doesn’t happen. Todd seems to be doing a good job.


I was a big fan of Todt compared to Mosley…and knowing his Ferrari success….I am a bit disappointed on what JT did while being FIA president. Maybe I do not see everything, he is less of a public figure comparing to Mosley (who I absolutely did not like as a person).

Mosley did a few things right. He really pushed teams towards lower costs and right now we again see teams with huge budgets and teams who are barely managing to put a car to a race. There is a risk of loosing good teams like Sauber and Williams, not just the likes of HRT.

The whole thing with Pirelli – it is the issue of FIA, not Pirelli.

Not impressed with JT at all.


As long as the engines don’t get any smaller I will be happy 🙁

Although, they have already gone too far as of next year.

Get Well Soon Murray

How many seconds are the cars off the record pace of 2004 at the moment?


Spinodontosaurus,just to let in on a secret. Lap record is counted as one set during the race hence its name, even though they sometime come close in practice and qualy it is noowhere near in race trim. Not sure how you confuse the lap record with something else, also its a shame that they are of the pace of the cars from nearly 10 years. it goes to show how much they went backwards and even more stupid listening to commentators saying “he is absolutely flying” what a joke…


2013 spec cars are actually faster around Monaco (and probably would have been around Melbourne too had it not been wet), comparable around Hungary and a touch slower around China and Montreal.

So not very far off at all (2004 doesn’t even have the record lap on several circuits; 2010 and 2011 share that title, although 2004 still retains most of the official lap records set in race conditions).

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