As expected, Jean Todt has not wasted much time in reacting to David Ward's push for the role of FIA president, announcing at the Italian Grand Prix
that he intends to stand for re-election.
Ward declared his intention to compete for the presidency a little over a week ago, and it remained to be seen whether Todt would rise to the challenge or stick to his original claim that he would only serve one term. Determined to nip speculation in the bud, he opted for the former.
"Yesterday it was announced that campaigning for election was opening, and I will go for it," he announced at Monza, “I really do respect [Ward] and you must respect the freedom of everyone [to vote], but I have a lot of support."
That support appeared to manifest itself in Friday's FIA press conference, where several team principals were asked for their views on Ward's proposals for the future of the governing body.
“I think that, in F1, it's important to proceed with stability and continuity – it's one of the things that we are always missing,” Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali, “I believe that [it] is important to keep as a relation with the FIA, so I would like to see this happening – but, of course, it is not us that will decide that.”
McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh also praised Todt's term at the helm, suggesting that the Frenchman had 'not used this sport for his own ego'.
“I won't go back into the past, but I've seen and survived three presidents – only just [with] one of them – but I think Jean has acted in the interests of motorsport,” he continued, “I think, for some people, there hasn't been enough commotion, action, controversy around him. Those are good in some people's minds but I think, for those of us that participate in the sport, having some consistency, someone who takes decisions that are in the interests of the sport quietly and efficiently is very beneficial.”
Marussia's Graeme Lowdon, meanwhile, appeared to welcome Ward's challenge whilst echoing Whitmarsh's comments on Todt's presidency.
“Democracy is a good thing, isn't it, so you've got to welcome the process,” he noted, “I had a very quick look at the [Ward] manifesto and there's lots of topics. It's good to have healthy debate on those topics and I'm sure that's what the FIA members will do.