Jean Todt is not 'the right person' to be made FIA President, a member of the sport's governing body has suggested – and nor is Flavio Briatore, whose 'stories about his girls would be even worse than with [Max] Mosley'.
There is much speculation about whether Mosley will remain in the most powerful and influential position in international motorsport beyond the end of his current – and fourth – term next October.
Bernie Ecclestone has suggested on a number of occasions that his long-time friend and business partner – embroiled in a News of the World
sex scandal earlier this year – will stay on-board for a fifth term, despite the 68-year-old's insistence that he will step down. Another close ally of Mosley's – Radovan Novak – seems to agree.
Moreover, the chief of the Czech motoring federation contends that once Mosley does eventually leave his post – whenever that may be – he is not likely to be replaced by either former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt, long considered a favourite for the role, or Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore.
“Of course, this is only my personal assessment, but I do not think that Jean Todt is the right person to be FIA President,” Novak told motorline.cc
, acknowledging the Frenchman's close alignment with the governing body but equally stressing that it is 'immensely important' that Mosley's successor has a good working relationship with Ecclestone, chief executive of Formula One Management and the sport's commercial rights-holder.
“Todt definitely does not have the support of Bernie Ecclestone, and that is very important. If they would fight together then it would be tough, because the teams would side with whoever benefits them the most.”
No stranger to controversy – having intimated that McLaren could have played a part in the News of the World
front page exposé on Mosley back in March – Novak also joked that Briatore would not be the most appropriate candidate for the presidency.
“Briatore is a very good manager, but then we would have the newspapers full of stories about his girls,” he quipped, “which would be even worse than with Mr Mosley!”