FIA Elections: Ari Vatanen vs Jean Todt

Adam Flinn@@F1AdamCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2009

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 26:  FIA logo is seen on the side of their transporter following qualifying for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on April 26, 2008 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The election for a new FIA President are due to take place on Friday October 23, with Jean Todt and Ari Vatanen both in the running to succeed Max Mosley.

There has been some controversy in the past weeks in regards to the neutrality of the election, with Mosley publicly endorsing Todt's campaign, and supposedly making threats to those who don't vote for the Frenchman.

Vatanen had also started legal action concerning how the FIA elections would be run. However, this has since been dropped following a meeting where the procedures for the election were agreed.

With all of this going on, it is easy to forget about what the candidates plan to do if they are elected. It's also easy to forget that the FIA are involved with a lot more than just Formula 1, and that many motorsport communities will be affected by Friday's result.

Jean Todt

If Todt were to be elected, he would concentrate on three key themes for his FIA presidency:

  • Affordability and Competition
  • Innovation and Excellence
  • Teamwork and Co-operation
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This basically refers to a continuation of Mosley's efforts to reduce costs in F1, as well as maintaining safety. As well as this, Todt wishes for strong communication within the FIA, referencing how this method worked successfully at Ferrari for many years.

Todt also has plenty of experience from different disciplines of motor-sport with plenty of success, which can only help his cause.

Ari Vatanen

Vatanen could be considered to be a breath of fresh air if he were to be elected as FIA President, and promises to bring change to the FIA after the leadership of Mosley for the past 16 years.

His motor-sport history is also backed up by his political history, as Vatanen worked as an MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for ten years, with a focus to enhance the image of transport and mobility.

One of Vatanen's aims is to bring unity to the FIA, and to restore harmony to a sport that has suffered numerous political incidents in recent years.

Sadly, the general public doesn't get a say in these elections, but the result will have a big impact on Formula 1 and all other FIA-governed forms of motor-sport. Hopefully it will mean an end to all the scandals that have taken the emphasis off of the racing in recent years.

Whether it's Todt or Vatanen, let's hope Formula 1 can regain some credibility after all the damaging events to motorsport of late.