It has been suggested that the only way controversial former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt will replace Max Mosley in the most powerful and influential post in international motor racing will be if the current FIA President 'has gone even more mad'.
That is the view of the outspoken Carlos Gracia, the president of the Spanish motor racing federation and a member of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council, in response to the widely-held paddock view that Mosley has his sights set on Todt one day assuming his responsibilities – whether that day be this October, when he has vowed to step down and relinquish the reins, or four years or more later still.
It is believed that the three most likely options are either for Mosley to remain in the position for a fifth consecutive term – against the teams' wishes – or for erstwhile McLaren chief Ron Dennis or Ferrari counterpart Todt to take over. Dennis is unlikely to receive Mosley's support given the well-publicised mutual antipathy between the pair that some argue culminated in the sporting record $100 million fine levied at the Woking-based outfit for 2007's infamous espionage scandal, whilst Todt would in all probability not be a popular choice given accusations in some quarters that the governing body is already biased towards the Scuderia
“Unless Max has gone even more mad, I don't think he'll back Jean Todt because we all know where he comes from and who he's linked to,” Gracia told Spanish radio station Onda Cero
Long an ally of Mosley's, Gracia has not discounted putting forward his own candidature either, but he warned that the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) and its president Luca di Montezemolo are playing a dangerous game in risking further antagonising the Englishman before he has even left his post.
Late last week, in a blow to the recently-concluded peace deal that looked to have saved the sport from collapse, Mosley demanded an apology from the Ferrari President for 'dancing on his grave before he was buried' [see separate story – click here
“What Luca di Montezemolo has done shows a total lack of respect to the FIA and the World Council,” Gracia opined. “I don't support Max Mosley to the death, but what I am totally in favour of, to the death, is respect for our institutions.
“It wouldn't surprise me if Max Mosley runs for re-election. The worst thing you can do is leave an animal badly wounded. What Luca has managed to do is re-activate Max.”