MONZA, Italy: Jean Todt (pictured) will stand for re-election as president of motor racing’s ruling body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), he has confirmed.
The 67-year-old Frenchman will stand against Briton David Ward, a former aide of ex president and compatriot Max Mosley, and will launch his campaign during the next month.
Todt confirmed his intentions to journalists attending yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza, ending speculation that he was prepared to stand aside.
“There is no speculation: I will go for it. Clearly you have to respect the procedure. Yesterday (Friday) it was announced that campaigning for the election was opening.
“All our community knows that I have a lot of support, and we have started something. It is like climbing a mountain. We try to climb up and up, but we are at 3000 metres. So there is still some way to go.”
Todt added that he was pleased by supportive comments made about his work since he succeeded Mosley by various Formula One team chiefs.
“I must say I was very pleased to see yesterday some comments by the team principals,” he said.
“I have been reading in the press that the F1 community hated me, so if sometimes I feel a bit frustrated it is to read things which are not corresponding to the reality.”
Todt also told reporters that there were parts of his work as president that left him open to criticism, but said he was more comfortable to stay out of the media spotlight.
“Sometimes I make mistakes, but I am a human being, and hopefully I do sometimes good things. It is not in my nature to have a very high profile, to be a dictator.
“For me with harmony and consensus you get much better. It is my way of running, of leading... I will not get into controversy or react to what somebody has been saying or not saying. Honestly I am too old for that.”
Todt has been president of the FIA since October, 2009, following a career in motor sport management with Peugeot in world rallying and later, from 1992, with further huge success at Ferrari from 1993. Meanwhile, Pirelli is expected to remain Formula One’s sole tyre supplier next year if the teams and commercial ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone agree on staying with the Italian company.
The president of the sport’s ruling body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), Jean Todt made this clear yesterday when he said the sport had no plans to initiate a bidding process.
Pirelli have endured a stressful and controversial year to date following several incidents of tyre failures and high-speed blowouts leading to fears about safety and threatened driver boycotts.
Former F1 tyre suppliers Michelin, of France, have been linked strongly in recent weeks with a bid to return to the sport.
Todt said: “If everybody says we are very happy, then what is the point of going to a tender? I will be able to explain that we don’t go to a tender because everybody is asking [for Pirelli].
“But if I had five teams saying we want that, and the other ones this, then definitely we would need to go to a tender.
“Plus, if it is unanimous to go in a direction, then if I go to a tender you know what people will say? ‘He is against Pirelli so he does a tender to try to make it Michelin’...”
Todt confirmed he spoke to Ecclestone about the issue at Monza on Saturday and planned to hold further discussions with Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera yesterday.