Election Day: FIA in damage control mode

Vatanen Todt

The FIA Foundation is in full damage control after news broke that its Director General, David Ward, has been stumping for Jean Todt (not a crime per se’) and doing so utilizing the foundations resources, email accounts and other methods that bring in to serious consideration the neutrality that French laws demands for an election in a not-for-profit organization.

What’s my opinion you ask? Not to get on a rant here but these poltroons at the FIA have comfortable, insulated jobs and are successful off the sweat of other men’s backs (usually poor, third-world motoring clubs they can manipulate with little money). The very thought of getting an outsider elected as president upsets the entire good-old-boys club that those lucky enough to have been blessed by current president Max Mosley enjoy.

As an American, shame on Nick Craw for swimming over to France to only become part of the cheap, political-hack euro-trash scene instead of upholding the principles of his nation or the terrific European spirit and parity so often found, in albeit decreasing corners, of that storied continent.

I have come to believe that the FIA, its foundation and other groups are not actively building the best structure for the constituents it represents, rather spending their time pretending to be businessmen and leaders overseeing something that conceivably doesn’t need their assistance nor does it actually need the FIA’s politics. FOTA comes to mind.

The mere fact that Mosley, Ward and myriad other faceless FIA sycophants have reduced themselves to bullying, intimidation and improper election process is reason enough for any sane motoring club to seriously consider a Todt presidency as wrong. The FIA have become a mini United Nations and I am left wondering where their version of the oil-for-food scandal is…which closet it is it hidden in? It very well may be this election that exposes the organization as the political hacks they are.

Has anyone within the FIA made any justification as to why a Todt presidency would be better than a Vatanen presidency? From what I have read, they only say Todt is the guy and Vatanen is (insert derogatory description of your choice here). That’s hardly a platform to run on to be honest.

Ari Vatanen has been running a campaign replete with all the earmarks you would expect. Politics, agendas, initiatives and vision. Todt has run a campaign based on attempting to distance himself from the Mosley guerrilla tactics and coercion of manipulating an election as well as representing to unchanging establishment that lines the pockets of the politically inept. Often accusing Vatanen of negative politics when the Finn is just calling a spade a spade.

Wheeling out such luminaries as the 7-time champion Michael Schumacher and others to stump for a Todt presidency is fine and while I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jean Todt and his skills, I suspect he will be a continuance of things rather than a new, fresh look of how the FIA can find parity amongst all members, motor racing series and remain relevant to the future of mobility and safety. If it were between Todt and Mosley? No question Todt is the preferred man. I think Jean Todt would be fine as FIA president but as it is, I think Ari Vatanen would be better.

Should Todt win, we all must ask ourselves how long the teams, sponsors and fans will be manipulated, duped and mislead by an organization whose only real objective seems to be self preservation and skimming revenue from the organizations it can leech itself to. The shameless use of small, third-world motoring clubs as political pawns is beyond reproach and instead of flouting cash in front of them for votes, the FIA should be investing in commerce and safety programs that help these nations develop their own stability and revenue stream.

As the FIA Foundation says on their web site, they will investigate but I submit that the letter from AAA (one of the largest motoring club members of the FIA) president Robert Darbelnet is a powerful message and clear sign that corruption, dirty politics and election manipulation is occurring at the very highest levels of the FIA. French law demands neutrality in not-for-profit organizations elections and clearly this is not being held to. We’ll keep and eye on it.

I am not an employee of the FIA nor have I worked there so my insight is based upon that of a fan on the outside but if the FIA was a paragon of virtue and integrity; I doubt we would be reading stories like these so my opinion is just that…opinion. Is it misinformed opinion? Possibly, but the FIA chooses to allow me as a fan the information I digest and right now that information is of a nature of corruption.

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