Max Mosley has hinted that he could be persuaded to stay on after all, Ari Vatanen has thrown his hat into the ring and Jean Todt is lurking ominously in the shadows – but who do you believe should be the next President of the FIA?
The most powerful and influential position in international motor racing carries with it a great deal of prestige – and also responsibility. It is on the latter count that many of F1's competitors believe Mosley has come increasingly unstuck of late, with the Englishman's belligerent insistence on forcing through the introduction of his controversial £40 million budget cap proving to be the catalyst for a civil war with the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) that even now threatens to tear the sport in two.
Having initially agreed as part of the short-lived FOTA 'peace deal' late last month that he would finally be stepping down in October at the end of this his current fourth term in the role, Mosley has since suggested that he is under pressure from member clubs to stay put – but he now faces at least two strong challengers, in the shape of 1981 World Rally Champion Vatanen and former Ferrari team principal Todt.
However, paddock perceptions of the pair could scarcely be more opposing, with the general view being that multiple Dakar Rally winner Vatanen – a Member of the European Parliament until this year – would be a welcome and level-headed choice and the most likely of anyone to restore calm and unity to the top flight, but that success for Todt would risk making F1 even more biased towards the scarlet machines than some contend it already is. Not for nothing are there dark whispers in corners of the paddock that the FIA actually stands for 'Ferrari International Assistance'.
Another name mooted in connection with the post is that of erstwhile long-time McLaren team principal Ron Dennis, a sworn rival of Todt's for more than a decade as the Silver Arrows and the Scuderia
duelled for supremacy at the top of the timesheets and championship table. However, Dennis' famously prickly and antipathetic relationship with Mosley – one that many reckon contributed in no small part to the sporting record $100 million fine meted out to the Woking-based outfit over the infamous 2007 espionage scandal – would likely count against him.
Other options include current FIA Senate President, World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) Vice-President and Automobile Club de Monaco President Michel Boeri – a man who 69-year-old Mosley has described as 'too old' to step into his shoes – whilst the names of such as British world champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill have also been evoked, with a long shot perhaps being twelve-time grand prix-winner Carlos Reutemann, who now as a highly successful politician has been tipped to stand for the Argentine presidency in 2011.
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