Well, well, there is a surprise. In his letter to all the FIA member clubs, outlining the fact that he will not be running for re-election as the governing body’s president this October, Max Mosley has fully endorsed Jean Todt as his preferred choice of successor. He says he hopes the clubs will agree with his judgement and feel able to offer their support by voting for the former Ferrari F1 boss.
“I believe the right person to heat that (FIA) team would be Jean Todt,” ran Mosley’s missive. Jean is unquestionably the outstanding motorsport manager of his generation, and arguably of any generation.
“Teams run by him have won the World Rally Championship, cross-country rallies including the Paris-Dakar, the Le Mans 24-hours and, in the last 15 years, one F1 world championship after another.”
No argument with that, particularly in the context of the reality that the FIA presidency involves every aspect of the automobile and the automobile industry in modern life, not just F1 and the other strands of the sport. Yet it has traditionally been F1 where the governing body has manned the barricades and earned its reputation, rightly or wrongly, as an authoritarian and often unsympathetic administrator.
What will Todt be like in the role? Capable, punctilious and with a shrewd eye for detail. Like Mosley, he is something of an establishment outsider who has had to fight to make his name and reputation and marches very much to his own beat. So no change there then.
Just to test the water, I contacted every F1 team yesterday and asked each of them what they thought of Mosley’s endorsement of Todt. Not one of them would make any comment, one way or another.
So no change there, either.