F1 »

Vatanen claims strong support for presidency bid.

Ari Vatanen has ramped up his bid for the soon-to-be-vacant role of president of the FIA by claiming that he already has the tacit support of some of the more influential motorsport associations around the world.

The former World Rally champion and European parliament member threw his hat into the ring in the build-up to the recent German Grand Prix, and was immediately installed as the 'people's favourite' to succeed Max Mosley, who finally confirmed that he would step down at the end of his current term in October. Vatanen is likely to face opposition from former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt - ironically a former Peugeot stablemate to the Finn during their WRC days - but is hoping that his promise to campaign on a clean slate will see him triumph over Mosley's chosen candidate.

"I have to say, even if Jean Todt is a good friend of mine, the FIA is not a kingdom, where a king hands over his power," he told 422race.com, "It's very wrong that Jean is presented as the 'son of the king'.

"At the expense of FIA Foundation, Jean goes with a private plane with his girlfriend, supposedly as a FIA representative, to various parts of the world - sometimes he has gone to Asia, sometimes to Canada, sometimes to Buenos Aires, whatever. In fact, he is doing a campaign totally supported, and paid for, by the FIA. This is much like [Mosley] nominating his descendent.

"I believe in the people's judgement, that every single person who sees it says 'this is not right'. The FIA is a republic. I'm sorry to say that but, in the objective assessment by me and all the educated observers who are well informed, Jean means that the current FIA would continue and the current system and people would more or less stay in place. There would be no change and that would be such an injustice to that big majority who want to have a renewed, fair, transparent FIA they can be proud of. Who can be proud of the FIA today? Not many people, apart from those who are benefiting from it.

"Michel Boeri is [another] possible [candidate], but we are on the same side, because we are both for a new FIA. We are definitely against conserving the current FIA, which Jean represents. We are the persons for the change."

Insisting that he is not riding a ticket for anyone but himself and his future vision for the FIA, Vatanen claims that he has garnered support from various national motoring bodies, including a couple who were notably outspoken after Mosley was allowed to remain in office following his 2008 sex scandal.

"I'm just back from Spain and both the big Spanish clubs are behind me, the ADAC club is behind me, as is the biggest club in the world, the AAA, in the person of president Bob Dalbernet," he revealed, "We also need people from Asia and Africa behind a credible candidate because, when people see a long-awaited change is happening, they want to contribute. I emphasise once again this is not my ego trip. I know how fragile men's life is, but it's my point of honour to restore people's faith in the FIA.

"For me, this is a new special stage [and I decided to take it] because it feels natural. I'm very philosophical in life. Men can force their destiny, they can control their lives. When there's an opening in life, I think it's a duty of mankind to go for it. We know FIA needs a reform and the big, big majority of people involved in the FIA are not happy with the current state of affairs.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ari Vatanen (FIN), German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Roger Federer (SUI) tennis player and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Nicola Todt (FRA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Nicola Todt (FRA)
27.11.2016 - Race, Roger Federer (SUI) tennis player and Bernd Maylander (GER) FIA Safety Car Driver

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


FreQ

July 20, 2009 1:00 PM

I think it's great. It'll be so tough getting in (as surely everyone in the FIA who currently benefits would want JT on the throne), but if he somehow manages it, we'd have a democracy. Saying that, you need an element of dictating to the teams. They will never agree with each other for very long, so a bit of both will probably be the best.

Tim Ansell - Unregistered

July 20, 2009 5:50 PM

I had the pleasure of racing against Ari Vatanen a few years ago in the Desert Challenge. We shared a sponsor (Castrol) so their PR team brought him to our bivouac for a chat. While the rest of the team spoke about rallying, I decided to ask him about why he ran as an MEP, and he clearly has strong views on a huge variety of topics. Since I would be very wary of Todt's 'Ferrari influence' all I can say is based on the way Ari Vatanen conducts himself and is prepared to stand up and be counted, it seems like his genuine concern to change the way the FIA is both run AND appears to race fans is a breath of fresh air. Besides, "Vote Vatanen" sounds better than "Todt for President"



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.