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GP Week : 01-Sep-2009
atanen: The tide is turning ARI Vatanen has told GPWeek that the tide of electoral opinion is turning in his favour as he seeks the support of the FIA member clubs in his campaign to be elected FIA President. The Finn implored that the FIA does not need a manager, but a father-figure if it is to achieve a new start under its new President. The rally legend went on the offensive against his rival Jean Todt's manifesto, telling GPWeek in Belgium that the Frenchman's campaign was based on the words of an "advertising agency," and did not reflect the need for the FIA to promote transparency and inclusion. "We can say, with all respect to my friend Jean, that when he talks about excellence, innovation, teamwork, they are fine words but any advertising agency can give you words like that," he said. "But if they are not anchored to any values in life, they mean nothing. We say, with humility, our hallmarks are values, honesty and transparency. That is the base and the foundation. You cannot build your house on sand, it has to be built on a rock, and when it is built on a rock and the foundation is solid, everything else falls automatically into place. "But what I want to stress is that the role of President of the FIA is not the role of a manager of a Formula 1 team, where you handpick your people and your sole purpose is to win races. Here, if you are given the trust and honour of leading this fantastic and noble family, you are given a global family and you have to be its adopted father. Your role is to be an inspiration, a spiritual leader that people can believe in. "You have people of all cultures, religions and backgrounds; some are weak, some are strong, some are big, some are small, but all of them must feel that they have a role to play in that family. You must treat people fairly and when they see that happening you can unite this family. That is the role of the FIA President. "It takes a while for [the member clubs] to realise that the rule of law is possible even in this world and that actually justice could happen in this world. But when they see that they are being listened to, then they see that we are building a future and a society where every voice matters regardless of its size, colour or background. And people will feel that in a just society they can contribute. It is like a flower which gets the water of democracy and justice and starts blossoming. The tide is turning!" F1 NEWS >> 9