Mike Stevens | Jul 20, 2009

FIA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Ari Vatanen has criticised Max Mosley after the Briton chose to openly endorse Jean Todt as his successor at the organisation.

In a letter detailing his intention not to stand for re-election, Mosley told FIA members that Todt was the best placed contender “to extend the work of the past 16 years”.

FIA boss Max Mosley.
FIA boss Max Mosley.

“I believe the right person to head that team would be Jean Todt. Jean is unquestionably the outstanding motorsport manager of his generation and arguably of any generation,” Mosley wrote.

However, Vatanen said Mosley’s decision to anoint Todt as his heir-apparent at motorsport’s governing body is evidence that the Frenchman will represent the old guard and fail to enact any of the needed reforms.

“Although I have criticised the FIA strongly, I have never aimed it at Mosley personally," Vatanen told Spanish newspaper AS.

"But it's not good that a leader stays in the post for a long time, and when that happens, the best thing is a change. And I represent that change, a new era with more freshness.

"On the contrary, Jean Todt represents the old era, and it's not right that Max wants to impose a new leader, and that he uses the power of the federation to support his campaign. The FIA is not a kingdom; it's a republic where the leaders are chosen democratically."

ari_vatanen_01Vatanen (right) also cited Ferrari’s non-committal response to Todt’s decision to stand for election as a sign that he is not suited to the role.

“At Ferrari they don't want Todt to be president, and so they have told me, because they think the sport would lose credibility. The same would happen if it was Ross Brawn or Flavio Briatore running. The president of the FIA must be someone neutral,” he said.

Meanwhile, in other news surrounding the FIA election, former Indian motorsport boss Vicky Chandhok says he won’t enter the battle for the presidency despite his close links to Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley.

“I have no interest in getting involved in a big election battle with Ari Vatanen and Jean Todt, so I would like to clarify once and for all that I shall not be throwing my hat into the ring this time," Chadnok said.

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