Departing FIA President Max Mosley has refused to rule out former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt taking over from him in the most powerful and influential post in international motorsport when he steps down in October – whether the teams like it or not.
Mosley announced yesterday (Wednesday) that he would be relinquishing his role at the end of his fourth and current term, having held the position since 1993. Though it is understood that the Englishman's resolution to hand over the reins was agreed as part of the FIA/FOTA compromise that staved off the threat of a manufacturer-spearheaded 'breakaway' series, he is adamant that he jumped as opposed to being pushed, and that his departure had been 'planned, agreed, arranged' for some time [see separate story – click here
Mosley has been immediately replaced by Monaco Automobile Club President and President of the FIA Senate Michel Boeri in terms of liaison with the top flight's competitors, and whilst attentions have now turned to who will likely succeed him in the long-term, the 69-year-old told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport
: “I cannot imagine that Boeri is interested in the post. He is also too old.”
Current FIA Vice-President Hermann Tomczyk has for his part ruled himself out of contention, but one name that refuses to go away is that of Todt. Though the Frenchman would likely not be a popular choice amongst teams – given his long ties with Ferrari and the paddock perception that the governing body is already pro-Maranello – Mosley has pointed out that they have no say in the decision, whilst he does.
“Whether the person who succeeds me will be more to their liking remains to be seen,” he warned ominously. “I would not like to exclude [a bid from Todt]. If there is more than one candidate, then I will give a recommendation.”