Honda F1 website

APRIL 10, 2004

The FIA Presidency

It was interesting to note that at his press conference in Paris the other day, Jacques Regis, the President of the FFSA, made an unusual remark while talking about the problems that he has faced in recent months to keep the French Grand Prix alive. He remarked that "Bernie Ecclestone has helped us a lot" but then added, almost as an aside, that "this was not at all the case with the FIA President".

What is interesting about the remark is that one rarely hears open criticism of Mosley in FIA circles and, with FIA elections coming in the autumn of 2005, it is indicative of undercurrents in FIA circles about the way in which the sport has been run in recent years. There is considerable irritation that the money raised by the sale of the Formula 1 commercial rights was not put back into the sport but rather used to create an FIA Foundation which does not appear to have much relevance to the sport.

The big question is whether or not a candidate can be found who is willing to take on Mosley.

There are already rumours that Mosley is preparing his succession and that the most likely candidate to take over in 2007 and beyond is Jean Todt, who would slide into the role without being elected by being named as Deputy President and then becoming President when Mosley steps aside, mid-term after new F1 political structures are put in place.

The rank of file of the FIA does not, however, appear to like the sound of this as Todt is seen as just another member of the F1 clique that has allowed Formula 1 to dominate FIA activity and which has allowed so much revenue to flow to Formula One Management and Allsport Management.

Most of the well-known names in FIA circles are of the same generation as Mosley, including people such as Regis, Monaco's Michel Boeri, Lars Osterlind of Sweden, and India's Nazir Hoosein. The younger generation may have one or two candidates but it be a little early for them to attempt a challenge.

The election is due in October 2005 and so we would expect to see signs of a candidate appearing within a matter of weeks - if there is a candidate out there.