Jean Todt could be poised to replace another former Ferrari F1 team boss in high office at the FIA if rumours at the Japanese Grand Prix are to be believed.
According to grandprix.com
, the diminutive Frenchman will leave his position at Maranello at the end of the month to take up a new role at the governing body when the FIA General Assembly meets in November. The biggest unknown in the speculation is whether Todt will replace former Ferrari team boss Marco Piccinini as deputy president for sport.
Piccinini revealed earlier this week that he is to step down with almost immediate effect to concentrate on business matters, and the timing of the Fuji rumour is too convenient to rule Todt out of contention to replace the Italian, who guided the Scuderia from the mid-1970s.
Should Todt, who relinquished the reins of the Prancing Horse's race team at the end of last season but remained at Maranello as CEO of the wider Ferrari operation, accept the FIA role next month, it is widely expected that he will eventually become the successor to current president Max Mosley. Todt confirmed in March that he would also be leaving his chief executive role, which he had held since 2006, and has long been tipped as a future president of the governing body.
That appointment would not necessarily be a warmly-welcomed one, however, with the FIA already being accused of favouring Ferrari. Todt has been a passionate supporter - and fighter - of the Scuderia's cause throughout his tenure at Maranello, often to the detriment of his, and the team's, public image. It has also been suggested, however, that Todt might be appointed as deputy president of the governing body's Touring division, which would still allow him to succeed Mosley, but without the obvious - and contentious - link to the racing side of the organisation.
Mosley, meanwhile, has said that he will step down from the presidency around this time next year, although many insiders believe that he will retain an interest in the governing body' s major decision via a new role as president of the FIA Senate.