Analysis: The FIA presidency candidates side by side
One day ahead of a milestone FIA presidency election, we put the candidates side by side and have a look at what they have to offer. It is for the first time in 16 years that the FIA members will choose a president that is not Max Mosley.
In tomorrow's election, Ari Vatanen and Jean Todt are the candidates for a term of 4 years as FIA president. During the gathering of the General Assembly, each candidate will be granted 15 minutes of speech to try to convince the 224 member organizations to vote for him.
Both men are strong candidates with each their own emphasis, but considering the 4 consecutive terms of leadership by Max Mosley, both, one more than the other, stress the need for change within its internal organization.
The first of the candidates is Jean Todt, widely known as Ferrari
team principal in the years when the Italian team amassed championship titles along with Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn. The Frenchman's campaign was already ignited before he even officially put in his candidacy as Max Mosley officially supports him to become the next president. While this in effect may have helped his campaign, some will see Todt as the continuation of Mosley determined way of governing. At a time that many judge this an ideal opportunity to break with history, this may turn against him.
Todt however is convinced he will go his own way, in a style of "agreement, not confrontation". In relation to motorsport, he supports a review of how rulings will be enforced while at the same time dividing responsiblity by instating sports commisioners
"For each FIA World Championship we propose appointing a Commissioner responsible for the Federation’s day to day management and governance of the championship. The Commissioner will represent the FIA in all regulatory and commercial issues relating to the championship,
reporting to the World Council and relevant sporting commissions. A system of Commissioners will reduce the need for the FIA President, or Deputy to become directly involved in any particular Championship and give more time to the leadership to concentrate on the strategic management of the FIA as a whole embracing the twin pillars of both mobility and motor sport."
More information can be found on Jean Todt's campain website http://www.jeantodtandteam2009.com/
Ari Vatanen is a Finn, former rally driver and was a member of the European parliament for the last 5 years. Much more so that Todt, Vatanen stands for change after claiming to be upset by the way the FIA has been run recently. The scandals and confronting politics are what Vatanen wants to get rid of.
"My main focus will be to bring unity to the FIA and increase transparency and accountability for the members, who are after all the true owners of the Federation and must play a central role in our organisation. I bring to my candidacy a long history and experience in both Sport and Mobility."
While Todt aims for high commitment, Vatanen's policy rather stresses his will to change the FIA in a much more open organisation, one that allows the input of all parties involved, also when these are negative towards the FIA.
More information can be found on Ari Vatanen's campaign website http://www.arivatanen.com/EN/ari-for-fia-president/