The men who might replace Max Mosley

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jean Todt, Sepang International Circuit, 2008, 470150

I was planning to write an article about who Max Mosley’s successor as FIA president could be as he was expected to stand down in 2009. However following the allegations about his sex life made today his immediate future is now in doubt.

So who is likely to take over from Mosley, one of the most powerful men in Formula 1? Here are a few names:

Marco Piccinini

Marco Piccinini has been deputy president of the FIA since 1998 and were Mosley to resign the Italian would probably take over, at least in the short term until new elections were held.

Piccinini is best known as a Ferrari man – he became sporting director of the Italian team in 1978 and took over briefly following Enzo Ferrari’s death in 1988 – he had also been Ferrari’s private banker. During this period he was closely involved in discussions over the creation of the first Concorde Agreement, the governing document by which F1 is run.

He is still on the board of directors for the Italian team, but has had several other roles in F1. In 2003 it was rumoured that Piccinini would take over from Bernie Ecclestone when the Briton relinquished commercial control of F1 (although five years later that still hasn’t happened).

(Incidentally, although Wikipedia is not my principal source for this kind of information I do like to check it, and was intrigued to discover Piccinini apparently created his own entry on there.)

Jean Todt

The Frenchman, former CEO of Ferrari and the man who led the team’s recovery from the ignominy of 1993 to the glories of the 2000s, has often been linked with the role of FIA President.

His closeness to Ferrari would make him a controversial choice, as would his questionable attitude to sporting integrity. He has rigidly enforced ‘one driver first’ policies at his teams, most famously at Ferrari with Michael Schumacher, but also while leading Peugeot’s assault on the Paris-Dakar rally. He once selected which of his drivers, Ari Vatanen or Jacky Ickx, should win an event based on the outcome of a coin toss…

Todt first got into rallying by being a co-driver, and later took on former FIA President Jean-Marie Balestre (who recently passed away) when his compatriot introduced radical changes to rallying regulations in the mid-1980s.

At present members of the World Motor Sports Council cannot vote on matters where they are perceived to have conflicts of interest. Many F1 teams, particularly McLaren, may feel Todt unsuitable to judge on any matter relating to F1 due to his long relationship with Ferrari.

David Richards

A no less controversial choice. Richards managed the Benetton team in 1998 and later returned with BAR-Honda, bringing the struggling team to second in the championship in 2004 before leaving. He was supposed to be leading Prodrive in the sport this year, but Mosley’s failure to implement rules allowing customer cars prevented it from happening.

Richards was critical of Mosley afterwards, and if he were to launch a successful bid for president introducing customer cars would surely be high on his list of priorities.

Like Todt, Richards has been involved in rallying – his Prodrive outfit have run former world champions Subaru for many years. Richards has also been involved in promoting the sport.

Other names

Several potential challengers could come from within the World Motor Sports Council. There are seven vice-presidents, none of whom ordinarily get much attention relating to Formula 1.

They include Michel Boeri, who has run the Automobile Club de Monaco for 30 years having taken over from his father. Nazir Hoosein infamously served as an F1 steward and was responsible both for allowing Michael Schumacher to win the 1998 British Grand Prix by taking a penalty after the race had finished, and giving a very controversial penalty to Juan Pablo Montoya at Sepang in 2002 (more on Hoosein here).

Outside the WMSC there are a few unlikely but surely popular potential choices. Damon Hill, former F1 champion and current president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, would be my favourite. And for irony value, how about Martin Brundle?

Who would you like to see become FIA president?

62 comments on “The men who might replace Max Mosley”

  1. Two words: Paul Stoddart.

    That’d shake things up a bit…

  2. Jackie Stewart….Now he can make fun of the way Max dresses.

  3. Stoddart would be a good choice …
    I always had David Richards in mind …
    But how about Alain Prost??

    Why not :)

  4. Andy – I like !

    Tom Walkinshaw? Alex Wurz?
    Anyone but Jean the Toad (although this Piccini character doesn’t sound much better)

  5. the timing of Todt’s resignation could not have been any better :-) . Did he get a tip from The News of the World :-)

  6. guinnesspuddle
    31st March 2008, 1:09

    Paul Stoddart or Eddie Jordan.

  7. Christopher
    31st March 2008, 1:38

    When thinking of F1 personalities as potential replacements, just remember that the FIA deals with plenty more than just F1…

  8. What makes you think that Max is going ? Harmless highly paid S&M never hurt anybody.

    You think that Max hasn’t got some entertaining stories about some other entertaining people from the world of motor cars being entertained ?

    Playing dirty ? Past master at it old boy.

  9. If anyone is willing to consider LeToad with a straight face than you may as well toss in the names of any of the team principals. Todt or any of the others would be a total conflict of interest with their recent ties to their respective teams.

    Because LeToad has been out of the sport for 15 minutes (but at the pits in Sepang, supporting "his" team) he will be able to erase his past 15 years of memories of running Ferrari, or of perceived injustices at the hands of other teams?

    Potential candidates: ANYONE not affiliated with a team for at least five years.

  10. I put my money on Lewis Hamilton’s father. Safe bet.

  11. Dan M you are a genius!

  12. How about big Ron Dennis

  13. While Damon might be a real bet from the pool of former drivers you have to consider what they want:

    * Former driver (perhaps having won a world championship or two)
    * Big Name / Internationaly renouned
    * Working knowledge of the regulations and how far they can go
    * A lot of free time at the moment
    * Somebody who has done a lot of work for the FIA in the past
    * Somebody happy spending McLaren’s money.

    Step forward new FIA chief Michael Schumacher!!!

  14. All the former team principals, team owners and great title winners in F1, WRC and some of the smaller but successful Formulas qualify.

  15. The thing with Jean Todt is that he’s done really well to knock heads together at Ferrari and get them winning titles – before the days of Schumacher there was a lot of strife within the team and they underperformed massively (4th in Constructors’ back in 1992).Makes me think he’d be almost an ideal person to sort out the current mess that F1 has got itself in with stupid KERS systems and other things that Mosely has introduced.

    But having been with Ferrari for so long this surely would be a massive conflict of interest? I’m not totally convinced there’s the same thinking within the FIA as I get the impression they aren’t too bothered …

  16. I am for Michael Schumacher(stop the "oh, not him" talk and  read on for understanding why him) and Dr. Mario Thiessen. The two names come to my mind for obvious reasons. Michael, for his association with the FIA over the years, what with all the promotional activities. That’s not all, but i’ll come to the rest a lil later.

    Now, Dr Thiessen cos BMW have been crying foul over one and one thing alone, ever since they got into F1(again in 2000). Limitation on technical innovations. Now, going back to Michael, he himself laments the demise of 3.0 litre V10’s(a concern which BMW raised as well).  Now, as long as either of them were to come on into the role if and when vacated by Mosley, we could see things becoming simpler. As in they could ask proponents of KERS to sod it. Simple things to make things faster and more exciting:
    1) Bigger engines (back to 3.0 litre V10 engines)
    2) No engine freeze (this one truly blows). Both Michael and Dr Thiessen have expressed their displeasure on the subjects of demise of 3.0 Litre V10 engines and the engine freeze.

    Ron Dennis. It is not that i doubt his capability. However, his integrity is in question since last year. So will be his motivation in the job, once he takes it up. He would not have enjoyed the fine levied on Macca one bit i bet. Few of us have commented that Todt has views on "his team" being cheated. Me thinks, Ron would not be much different from him.

  17. 1, Jackie Stewart
    2, Alain Prost

  18. Robert McKay
    31st March 2008, 11:00

    It’d be nice to see a racer,  and an intelligent one at that, and not a lawyer/businessman/corporate stooge.

  19. If it is to be an F1 Driver then I would go for one of Stewart, Prost or Hill.

  20. R O N D E N N I S

  21. Jos ‘the boss’ Verstappen

  22. Barry Chuckle?

  23. Why not Jean Todt?? I don’t like mister Mosley…

  24. Is this article not getting ahead of things just a little? At least give Max a chance to respond to these, as yet unproven, allegations.

  25. As I said in the article, Rohan, he was planning on leaving next year, and these suggestions are just as revelant to that eventuality as the possibility he might stand down in the near future over these allegations.

  26. I’d like it to be DC when he retires but for the moment I’m not sure. Todt would be too biased towards Ferrari and anti-McLaren but i guess thats what its like at the moment anyway

  27. "Barry Chuckle?"


  28. Surely if Max goes his choice as successor must be tainted.  The FIA needs someone who is above reproach, experienced, respected and not going to be pushed around by Bernie like Max was.  100 years of TV rights for 3 Toblerones.  That sounds like a good deal.

    Jackie Stewart.  No contest.

  29. I’m still on Anthony Hamilton

  30. Eddie Jordan is obviously not an option, but it would be SO MUCH FUN.

  31. Architrion – outstanding.

    I thought I had consider all the people who would annoy Max most and stir up the FIA the most and got as far as Ron Dennis but Anthony Hamilton is a masterstroke.  Shame the Hamiltons aren’t Jewish.

  32. Chris Johnson
    31st March 2008, 17:36

    How much time does the FIA president actually spend on motorsport, and F1 specifically? Maybe it’s a job that shouldn’t be done by just one man, or by the FIA at all. How about a rotating presidency, with defined term limits? I’d like to see someone outside the insular world of Formula One, but it’s not gonna be easy to find someone as smart and as hard-nosed as Max. Jackie Stewart would be great, but I think he’s too old.

  33. I still think Alex Wurz is the best candidate, especially as Jackie Stewart has said he’s not available.  Alex has several things going for him – he’s not British (and would be acceptable to the rest of the world therefore), he’s as honest as the day is long, knows how to behave as a gentleman, understands the sport and engineering, would not be unduly biased towards any particular team, can talk the hind leg off a donkey but still is able to listen and appreciate others’ points of view, is young enough to do the job for several years yet, and would want it to be a team effort rather than a dictatorship.  What more could one ask for?

  34. Lady Snowcat
    31st March 2008, 18:33

    Diplomatic skills are vital in this job to get everyone to come along with your (or Bernie’s) ideas….

    I friend of mine on another forum has suggested that it needs to be a businessman with motorsport credentials…

    Amongst the usual suspects of Flav, Dave Richards, Ron, Jean et al he also mentioned Nick Fry….

    Even if you don’t like the guy he has sure got Honda to go along with his ideas, good or bad….  


  35. Stephen Campbell
    31st March 2008, 19:42

    Nigel Stepney!!!

  36. Hey, Stephen has a point.  At least then we’d all get copies of the full transcripts of any WMSC hearings – no amateurish efforts with skewed image files and sloppy censorship.  And who better to powder over any cracks in the organisation?

  37. Would be nice to have a heavy metal FIA president. (Wurz is a headbanger, right? Or am I completely wrong?)

  38. Time for Max Moronsley to go!!!

  39. ME!! i’d sort them out. HEHE!!

  40. I’m not sure about heavy metal, but Alex Wurz is into rock music, if the Formula 1 Yearbook is anything to go by. So he certainly would know how to "head-bang". For that matter, having someone who is neither caked in FIA politics (the deputies can always sort the internal politics out for him) or obvious biases (OK, he’s worked for Williams and Honda in the recent past, but he’s always struck me as objective about even those teams) would be a good thing.

  41. I did say john todt because of his current experience – big ron would be even better – but the suggestion of lewis’s dad fun though it seems isn’t on – eddie brilliant – it would great to see one of life’s great rebels in charge – wonder how the roadblock is getting on eddie?
    bur damon now he is still in contact and fighting to keep the british gp on the stage and maybe he could stop mighty mouse in his bid to light the world up – and to hell with the waste of energy, sorry light bulb moment there – but well there have beensome good suggestions and as long as it is quick.

  42. Ok, I’m with Stephen,,,, three better than one:

    Anthony Hamilton – President
    Nigel Stepney – Number two. President of Ethics Comission
    Mike Coughlan – Number three. Economics and Fine Administrator.

    Maybe we could add Jean Todt – Equality Moderator

  43. Bill Clinton.  Well known, great contacts, and doesn’t require his girls to dress weird :-)

  44. What about Niki Lauda?  

  45. FIA is not sacking max.. so  don’t think about others

  46. AmericanTifosi
    1st April 2008, 15:46

    Mario Thiessen. If you recall the lond interview with F1Racing magazine, he’s against KERS and all that useless crap.

  47. AmericanTifosi
    1st April 2008, 15:46

    make that LONG interview, sorry

  48. The Stig

  49. LOL, what about the powerful built blonde? She ruled. 

  50. What about Robert Mugabe? I hear he might be out of work soon and he will certainly be less dictatorial than Max…

  51. michael counsell
    1st April 2008, 17:57

    Definitely none of the three mentioned.  None of them would be voted for by the FIA members.  The FIA does a lot more than F1, but most journalists aren’t interested so no one knows about it or talks about it.  It doesn’t even matter who the president is really, just someone whos willing to be a mouthpiece and take flak from allcomers.

  52. I could be the choosen one!!!!! But, of course, they have to let me spend 3 millions like Max did. I’m willing to sacrifice myself :-))

  53. I posted 31st March 1.46 am

    "What makes you think that Max is going ?" .."What makes you think that Max is going ?"BBC report just now. "Max Mosley has pledged to carry on as president of the FIA, motorsport’s governing body, despite allegations about his private life. "…"the 67-year-old added that he will open legal proceedings against those who had conducted a "covert investigation" to discredit him. "

    The Universal silence from representative bodies says everything.

  54. Sorry Mindworks, what about fat stig, the stig’s american cousin

  55. What about Nigel Mansell.  He can whinge much better than max

  56. I have posted elsewhere that Paul Stoddard would be an ideal candidate. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the rule-book, knows F1, is equally respected and rejected and is a successful businessman. he is a man who won’t play favourites. That is from my F1 bias, but there is no reason why the next President should have any connection to our beloved sport. And I think that appointing a former driver to the post would be disastrous (with the possible exception of Stewart). Look at how Allain Prost destroyed his own team. has put forward a few likely candidates, but the most interesting one is this:

    "One man who should be watched is Nick Craw (61), who is president of the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS). He was previously executive director of the US national governing body for the sport of sailing. He previously served as president and CEO of the Sports Car Club of America for 17 years. A former driver he was also CEO of Scorpio Racing Enterprises from 1968-80. Prior to that he was director of the Peace Corps in the 1970s. A graduate of Princeton, with an MBA Harvard, he is very well-regarded within the FIA."

  57. My proposal is Kari O. Sohlberg.

  58. Is that the president of the Finnish motor sport federation? That’s all I know about him! Why him for president?

  59. JACKIE STEWART!! JACKIE STEWART!! JACKIE STEWART!!!  One man with the love of the sport that regardless of all the critics would still preserve the integrity of Formula 1 !

  60. Dang
    I just entered a long and comprehensive comment, but when I hit the submit button my FireFox crashed.
    Was it somehow saved or do I need to retype the whole thing?

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