FIA Presidential candidate, Jean Todt, has dismissed suggestions that his links with previous team Ferrari will prevent him from being impartial when ruling on Formula One matters.
Todt, who will go up against Finland’s Ari Vatanen in the October election, today released a Q&A session in which the Frenchman insisted that if elected as FIA president then he would carry out the role with the same amount of professionalism that he did during his years at Ferrari and Peugoet.
“Initially some people suggested that I would be Ferrari’s choice for the presidency, then the media was told that Ferrari didn’t want me, and the Scuderia responded by saying that they were in fact neutral,” he said. “Of course, I completely agree with them.
“They should be neutral as I will be to all the teams if I am elected president.
“This is a question of commitment and professionalism. The success I have enjoyed, with every team that I have ever worked with, has been founded upon professionalism and a total commitment to that team’s goals,” he added.
“My approach to the FIA is no different. I would not contemplate running for election as president if I could not focus all my professionalism, energy and commitment upon achieving the goals which are in the best interests of the FIA. Acting as the guardian of the FIA’s independence is central to this.”
In the interview, Todt also revealed his drive to become the FIA president, claiming that such a position would be the perfect way to give something back to the motorsport industry which had brought him so much joy for the past few years.
“Throughout my career, as a competitor, manager, team principal and chief executive I have enjoyed success in an intensely competitive environment,” he said. “I’ve worked with incredibly talented and dedicated people, teams and organisations with great passion, pride and commitment.
“Now working closely with my candidacy team, I want to bring all the experience I have gained throughout my career and apply it for the benefit of the FIA and its membership.
“I have been very fortunate in my career to have enjoyed considerable success in motorsport. Like so many others in our sport I have benefited from the hard work of previous leaders of the FIA in creating a global platform on which to compete.
“I feel that for me the time is now right to give something back to the sport and the FIA’s clubs that have given me so much.”
The Frenchman added that he will shorty begin his campaign, which will include visiting the various pitlanes around the motorsport calendar. Todt also claimed that he has received an invitiation to meet with the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, a body that he has insisted he would want to work closely if elected.
“The GPDA have invited me to meet with them and I am very pleased to accept their invitation,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunity to talk with them when I visit a forthcoming grand prix.
“Teamwork has been a fundamental characteristic of my achievements in motorsport, it characterises my approach to the current election campaign and, if successful, it will also characterise my presidency of the FIA.
“I’m confident that all drivers, from F1 as well as other motorsport disciplines, will co-operate in this spirit of teamwork and build on the outstanding contributions many of them have already made to the work of the FIA, FIA Institute and FIA Foundation, whether on the track or on the road.”