Ari Vatanen has laid out his manifesto for change in Formula 1 should he be elected to the role of FIA President on 23 October - arguing that the sport needs to be 'a place where people meet each other on common ground instead of on a battleground'.

Vatanen will go up against controversial former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt for the honour of being voted into the most influential post in international motor racing - one that has been held for the past 16 years by the outgoing Max Mosley.

The 1981 World Rally Champion - who ironically worked closely with Todt during his rallying heyday at Peugeot over 20 years ago - has insisted that key to the retention of peace in the top flight is a far more harmonious, non-confrontational and democratic relationship between the governing body and its teams. That comes in the wake of the acrimonious and highly damaging political run-ins between Mosley and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) this summer over the Englishman's contentious budget cap initiative, and the subsequent stand-off that threatened for some time to spawn a manufacturer-spearheaded 'breakaway' series and tear F1 quite literally in two.

"F1 is known for battles and crises and sudden changes," the Finn told ITV-F1's James Allen, "and it should be known as a place where people meet each other on common ground instead of on a battleground where different parties don't have an equal position. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise what should be done - just normal good governance, fairness, treating people correctly, taking decisions democratically and not just imposing your will because you want to humiliate somebody because you happen to be in a position of power.

"Treat family members on an equal footing, because this is all about passion, but people's passion is not liberated if they feel they are in a family where they are being sidelined and nobody cares for them. F1 can be three times, four times, five times better in 15 years' time if we apply the principle that we are equal members around the table.

"If I was FIA President, it wouldn't give me any pleasure if I managed to humiliate some team leader, because if this team leader goes out of my sport, how is the FIA doing? Not very well at all. My job is to give them a platform, because these actors are actually paying for the acting - I'm not paying for the acting, and I get my revenue from their acting, so my view is to give them such an attractive platform that they stay in the FIA championship.

"How can I give them such an attractive platform? Only if I consult them and work with them, and if they can [get] return on their investment. I don't see anything good in dividing. If the competitors are prospering in our championship then that is in the interest of the FIA. Everything in my life has been about teamwork."

Vatanen went on to point to recent incidents that have impacted negatively upon the FIA's reputation, from the sporting record $100 million fine meted out to McLaren-Mercedes over the infamous espionage row two years ago to the sale of F1's 100-year commercial rights to Bernie Ecclestone and his partners for $350 million.

"You have a $100 million fine, and then the global rights for 100 years are worth $350 million - both figures are totally disproportionate," he contended. "That speaks of how the situation in the FIA is not normal at all, and that's why people always have big question marks when they talk about the future of the FIA. It's not normal to have a $100 million dollar fine or to sell global rights for $350 million."

"We must have stable surroundings and clear visibility," Vatanen added, speaking to BBC Sport. "We can only do that by working together. The FIA and other family members of F1 must sit down around a table and make [future rule changes] together, because we all are stakeholders - we all have an interest.

"Often the FIA can have the upper hand anyway, and the others have to be on the receiving end. Okay, that's good for an ego trip and, in the short-term, power over somebody else and a personal victory, but it's to the detriment of the sport. We propose - I and my team - just normal business practices in F1. We must remember the teams and the contractors, the smaller teams and the bigger teams, private or less private. Whoever is investing in F1 is not there for fun."

"It is clear, since F1 gets so much visibility, [that] it must be used as promotion for safety," he continued, outlining safety and environmental awareness as two of his chief mantras should he be elected, in an effort to give the lie to those who claim he is sceptical about global warming. "There is no substitute for the work we do in saving human lives; it is completely on a different level.

"Technology serves everything, any domain, so we promote new technology - whether it is reducing consumption and the so-called greener technologies, maybe nano-technology. F1 is the window that draws people's attention."

As to his rivalry with the Mosley-backed Todt - a divisive figure who both Vatanen and the teams fear would merely represent a continuation of the present incumbent's autocratic and almost arbitrary regime and not bring about the necessary change the sport is crying out for - the 57-year-old was blunt.

"I refuse to say why I am better," he remarked, "but we represent different worlds. All I am saying is that I represent a new start for the FIA where all the members of this incredibly colourful global family have a feeling that they are being heard and, hopefully at times, are inspired by their president.

"To be the President of the FIA is so different to running a rally team, where you can hand-pick your people. Now you become the adopted father of the global family, where you have all different backgrounds and races and beliefs and so forth. This incredible family can only be strong if you unite them, if you can be a diplomat, if you can conciliate."

Both Vatanen and Todt are expected to attend this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, what will mark the latter's first F1 appearance since officially announcing his presidential candidacy just under two months ago.


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