- FIA elections
Jean Todt elected new FIA president
Jean Todt won the election to be the next president of the FIA following a vote of the general assembly held on October 23 in Paris. Todt, the former Ferrari sporting director - and outgoing president Max Mosley's preferred candidate - defeated ex-rally champion Ari Vatanen by 135 votes to 49. The Frenchman will run the FIA for the next four years.
"I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary achievements of Max Mosley's 16 years as president of the FIA in both sport and mobility," Todt said. "Under his leadership the sport has experienced unprecedented growth and global popularity. He has worked tirelessly to promote the FIA's major championships, and to make the sport as competitive, safe and affordable as possible. At all times he has strongly defended the independence and integrity of the Federation as the sport's governing body."
Luca di Montezemolo - Todt's former Ferrari boss and Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) chairman - was one of the first to congratulate the new president. "I would like to send my best wishes to Jean Todt in his new role, as I have always appreciated his ability, dedication and commitment," Montezemolo said. "I am sure that, under his guidance, the federation will be rejuvenated and will restore a climate open to dialogue and constructive collaboration with the teams and FOTA, thus ensuring stability of the regulations and the whole environment.
"Formula One is about to embark on a new phase: all the stakeholders must work together with an eye to the future, to increase the credibility and interest generated by this sport, tackling the technical and environmental challenges that await it, while keeping unchanged those characteristics that have made it one of the most popular disciplines on the world stage" he added.
Todt added his main aim would be to guide the sport through the global recession as well as focussing on the wider challenges facing the world car industry. "It is my intention to offer continuity but also to encourage change to meet the new challenges facing the sport and motoring in the years ahead," 63-year-old Todt said.
"We are living through a time of unprecedented change set against a hard economic environment. Despite the global recession the world's automobile population is forecast to triple by 2050. New generations across the world will have the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of mobility that the car offers and it is the FIA's responsibility to defend their right to safe, sustainable and affordable mobility.
"We must also make it easier for them to experience the passion and thrill of motorsport. Building on our experience and traditions, the FIA must be ready to shape and encourage this new era of global mobility and global motorsport."
Also elected were Todt's management team: Nick Craw (Automobile Competition Committee for the US) becomes president of the senate, Brian Gibbons (chief executive, New Zealand Automobile Association) is named deputy president Automobile Mobility & Tourism, and Graham Stoker (council chairman, Motor Sports Association UK) takes over the deputy president sport duties.