Todt elected FIA president

Frenchman wins vote to succeed Max Mosley

Former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has been elected president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The Frenchman beat his only rival, Ari Vatanen, in a secret vote of FIA’s general assembly in Paris on Friday. He will succeed Max Mosley as the head of world motorsport’s governing body following the Briton’s decision to stand down after 16 years in the job. Todt, who had been a strong favourite after receiving the backing of Mosley and Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, gained 135 votes compared with Vatanen’s 49. There were 12 abstentions/invalid votes.

Vatanen, a former world rally champion from Finland, had fought his campaign on a ticket for change and broader democracy within world motorsport. But Todt, riding on the success of his glory years with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, enjoyed establishment support and ended up with a crushing victory. The 53-year-old’s immediate focus will be on restoring the reputation of F1, motorsport’s marquee brand, in the wake of a difficult period.

Challenge

The McLaren spying scandal, which resulted in the team being fined $100m and excluded from the 2007 constructors’ championship, was followed by revelations that Nelson Piquet Jr, acting on Renault team orders, had deliberately crashed during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to pave the way for team-mate Fernando Alonso’s victory. Flavio Briatore, Renault’s team boss at the time, was handed a lifetime ban from FIA-sanctioned events, while Pat Symonds – the chief engineer – received a five-year sanction. The global economic recession also caused problems with Honda and BMW both withdrawing their F1 teams. Mosley’s enduring legacy is likely to be the cost-cutting deal he made with the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) during his final months in the job, an agreement he believed necessary to secure F1’s long-term future. The Englishman had previously resisted calls to resign last year after tabloid newspaper revelations about his private life. He survived a vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the FIA and went on to win £60,000 damages from the News of the World for invasion of privacy.

congratulations Jean Todt. i do believe that he’s the right guy for this position. lets hope the FIA becomes better after this. more interesting F1 and please give more promotion to WRC! would love to see those big turbocharged cars back in action. apart from citroen, ford and subaru, i’d love to see more from mitsubishi, audi and maybe other makers. article from Sky Sports.

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