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Vatanen: Controversy is part of F1

FIA Presidential candidate Ari Vatanen admits that - for all that he is proposing change and a fresh start for F1 in the wake of all its recent scandals - controversy will never be far away...
'We must accept that controversy is a part of F1' – that is the audacious declaration of FIA Presidential candidate Ari Vatanen, who has attempted to play down the recent run of very public scandals that have rocked the top flight in arguing that 'there is a tendency for man to push the limits...'

Vatanen will do battle with former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt for the honour of acceding to the most powerful and influential post in international motor racing – replacing longstanding, outgoing incumbent Max Mosley – in Paris on 23 October, but the election campaign has been dogged by a series of sideswipes between the three men, with Mosley having made little secret of which camp will be receiving his support.

However, despite having based his entire manifesto on the need for change and a transparent, honest method of governance a world away from the series of salacious and damaging scandals and incidents of cheating that have dogged F1 under Mosley's reign, the 1981 World Rally Champion has admitted that to some degree, the world's fastest, most glamorous and most global sport will always be tracked by controversy in one form or another, such is the very nature of the beast.

“To a certain extent we must accept that controversy is a part of F1,” Vatanen told BBC Radio Five Live, reflecting on issues ranging from the 2007 McLaren/Ferrari espionage row to Mosley's infamous News of the World sex éxposé early last year, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton being caught lying to race stewards in Melbourne back in March and, most recently of course, 'Singapore-gate'. “There is a lot of fame, glamour and money involved, and that tends to bring out both the best and the worst of men.

“Human nature has not changed – that's why in any sport or human activity, we sometimes do things wrong. There is a tendency for man to push the limits, which is why we need very clear governance and clarity – common ground, not a battleground.

“There are a lot of question marks at the moment, with people not being sure how F1 is going to continue. All the stakeholders must sit around at a table and ask ourselves 'how can we make our sport better?' That's a good starting point. Tomorrow has to be better than today.

“When one is passionate about cars, like myself and over 100 million members of the FIA, people simply want the FIA to be run in a normal manner, with democratic principles, openness, justice and accountability. That is all we are asking for, and that is what we are proposing.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ari Vatanen (FIN), German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
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Mike - Unregistered

October 19, 2009 12:09 PM

People like Rob01 seem to live in a parallel universe. What is undemocratic or lacking in transparency about the way the FIA currently operates? The entire Renault affair is available to anyone who wants to read it. The McLaren case was never appealed by McLaren, so they, at least, must know there was nothing wrong with the decision. And all the World Council decisions are by majority vote. Interesting that Briatore (unlike McLaren) is going to a civil court. No doubt he hopes to persuade them it's ok to tell your driver to crash. Unless you think Max arranged the theft of the Ferrari IP, told Lewis to lie and put Flavio up to crashgate it's hard to see why you think it's his fault.



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