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GP Week : Issue 55
> F1NEWS> Presidential battle heats up F Jean Todt confirms he’ll run for FIA Prez, making it a two-way fight – for now! ORMER Ferrari F1 Director Jean Todt has confirmed that he will run against Ari Vatanen in the FIA’s Presidential Election in October. Todt, who for many years has been touted as Max Mosley’s favoured successor, announced his intention to run for election on Thursday, following Max Mosley’s final confirmation that he would not be seeking re-election. In announcing his decision to not stand again for the role of FIA President, Mosley angered Vatanen by stating that, as had long been assumed, his favoured successor was indeed Todt. “Jean Todt represents the old era,” Vatanen told Spain’s AS Newspaper. “And it’s not right that Max wants to impose a new leader, and that he uses the power of the federation to support his campaign. The FIA is not a kingdom; it’s a republic where the leaders are chosen democratically.” Todt and Vatanen have history, as the Frenchman ran the Peugeot Talbot Sport World Rally team for whom Vatanen drove in 1984 and 1985. Head of the German ADAC and current FIA Steward Hermann Tomczyk told German news agencies that, while he would not take on the role himself, he believed more candidates would emerge for the job. “Within a foreseeable time we will decide which program [Todt or Vatanen] we can follow,”he said, “but at the moment we don’t know yet if more candidates will come.” One man who has ruled himself out of the running is the former head of the Indian Motorsport Federation Vicky Chandhok. “Last week we at the FIA clubs received a letter first from Max saying he did not intend to stand again and recommending Jean Todt as his successor, and then the next day a letter from Jean informing us of his intention to stand for the role of FIA President,”he told GPWeek. “I know that my name has been mentioned in connection with the FIA Presidency but, to be honest, something at that level and with that degree of politics as a natural and essential part of it is way beyond something that I would wish to take on.” Chandhok, father of GP2 racer Karun and a highly respected and influential man in the Formula 1 paddock himself, did confirm that he would not be averse to joining the cabinet team of one of the candidates. “I would be delighted to be a part of either candidate’s cabinet,”he confirmed to GPWeek. “I would relish the opportunity to work on the sporting side of the FIA with the new President, and would be very happy if either candidate wished to contact me. I have to say that I do not know either one particularly well, but I can see that both have many merits.”