Todt vows to improve FIA

jeantodtJean Todt has promised to improve the effectiveness of the FIA should he be elected president of the governing body when Max Mosley steps down in October.

The former Ferrari team principal has been given a ringing endorsement by Mosley making him a strong candidate for the presidency, but he will go head to head with former World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen who is also well respected among FIA club members.

Todt has vowed to improve the effectiveness of the FIA, something that the Formula One teams have been particularly critical off.

“I am conscious that the FIA is a unique organisation which serves both as the governing body of motor sport and the representative of motoring clubs worldwide,” the 63-year-old wrote to FIA member clubs.

“In this letter I would like to explain my commitment to strengthening the independence and effectiveness of the FIA in close co-operation with the entire membership.

“I have been very fortunate in my career to have enjoyed considerable success in motor sport and benefit 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 club that have given me so much. I would also like to assist my colleagues from the mobility clubs in their important work representing the motoring public.”

“For these reasons I am enthusiastic and excited to serve as President of the FIA and very grateful for your consideration of my candidacy.”

Who is Jean Todt? (Source: Wiki)

Jean Todt is the former executive director of Scuderia Ferrari, the Ferrari company’s Formula One constructor. On October 25, 2006, he was appointed as the company’s CEO.

On March 18, 2008, Todt resigned as CEO and assumed a “special appointment” within the company’s racing department. He resigned this position one year later.

On 16th July 2009 he confirmed that he will stand as a candidate to be the next FIA president following Max Mosley’s departure.

Ferrari (1993 – 2007)

Todt was the first senior appointment of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo who had been placed in charge of a once legendary team which “had become something of a joke.”

The Todt/di Montezemolo leadership hired Michael Schumacher in 1996, with whom came strategist Ross Brawn, and designer Rory Byrne. The Independent credited Todt with melding this combination “into a cohesive structure devoid of the polemics which were so rife.”

The fortunate combination produced a nearly-unbeatable team. Todt and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo have since been considered responsible for turning Ferrari from a has-been team, helpless without founder Enzo Ferrari, into the powerhouse it is today.

Following much speculation as to FIA President Max Mosley’s impending retirement, rumors arose in 2004 to the effect that Todt would run for the office. Mosley commented that though Todt would make an excellent president, he was quite happy at Ferrari; however, it had long been assumed that when Michael Schumacher retired from F1, Todt would leave his job. In an apparent bid to maintain Todt’s loyalty, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo promoted Todt to the head of the entire Ferrari operation, including street car production.

He remained as the Team Principal of the Scuderia F1 Team for one more season, and was replaced by Stefano Domenicali on 1 January 2008, however he still remained as CEO of Ferrari.

On March 17, 2009, it was announced that Todt had resigned, leaving Ferrari completely.

The French government has made Todt a Chevalier of its Legion d’Honneur. He was further honoured with the Grand Officier rank of the honour in January 2007. Also, in July 2006, Todt was given the official Malaysian royal title of ‘Datuk’ by Sultan of Terengganu, which is the Malaysian equivalent of a British knighthood – he is now widely addressed in Malaysian media as Datuk Jean Todt.

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