So Max Mosley has insisted that there is to be no going back on his decision to quit the role of FIA president at the end of 2009 when he will not be offering himself up for re-election, news which has inevitably triggered a firestorm of controversy and speculation over just who might succeed him in this crucially high profile role.

It could be former Ferrari F1 sporting director Jean Todt, of course: assuming that the Frenchman doesn't mind working for nothing. This has been an expenses-only appointment ever since multi-millionaire Mosley was elected to the job and immediately declined the offer of a salary. It was arguably a grand gesture, but one which Todt might not feel inclined to accept.

"I think there are a lot of potential successors and if Jean Todt were interested in doing it, and I am not sure he is, he would obviously be very capable," said Mosley.  

"But someone like Jean Todt could command a huge salary in F1. He could go anywhere he wanted, you know he could go into any of those companies to make it work. I think he would be tempted by a role other than the FIA because the FIA presidency is an unpaid position. There are several people who, without naming names, would be competent to do it. And the actual president doesn't have to be from the club."

Mosley says he will spend his remaining 15 months in office working to enhance F1's green credentials while at the same time slashing costs to make life more affordable for the independent teams and sorting out a new Concorde agreement to guarantee a more equitable division of the sport's commercial rights income.

And you certainly won't have heard the last of Mosley. Retiring FIA presidents are guaranteed a position in the governing body's influential senate as of right.