It seems Ari Vatanen has received an endorsement from McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh while Jean Todt was been specifically named by Max Mosley as a worthy successor as the next FIA president as Mosely si standing down in October.
This is shaping up to be another interesting race and as Jean Todt and Ari Vatanen are two ex-rally drivers and have battled in the past in the Dakar-Paris rally, this may be the ultimate battle for the grandest of prizes.
Ari is a fresh approach and new face to the FIA. He has racing pedigree and political nuance as a politician. Jean Todt also has racing pedigree and while not a politician (arguably as being in F1 demands that you be) he does have manufacturer experience as Mosley points out in his letter. So who is the right man for the job? Will these two engage in their final race against each other? Two ex-rally drivers looking for the finish line and trophy?
Is Mosley’s endorsement, irrespective of the 100 letters of support, a death knell for Todt? Is Vatanen’s lack of manufacturer or F1 experience a show stopper in his bid for election?
My opinion? I think Todt is a shill for Mosley and Mosley will still want a board position and some involvement. There; I said it. I know as a Ferrari fan I may get hate mail but Todt was the one who clung to the Mosley support wagon last year and did all the right things to support him. To two are close and Todt is currently working with the FIA.
Similar, perhaps, to why I am not excited about Manor GP being entered in F1 for 2010; Todt’s appointment could be viewed as just a puppet for Mosley’s marionette skills. Todt has been a staunch supporter of Mosley’s and would be his lifeline to remaining quietly involved. Similar rumors have Mosley tied to Manor for reasons of peeking behind the FOTA veil. All rumors of course but in my mind, this is defecating too close to the house.