The men who might replace Max Mosley

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?

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62 comments on The men who might replace Max Mosley

  1. FLIG said on 31st March 2008, 16:22

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

  2. Steven Roy said on 31st March 2008, 16:29

    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.

  3. Chris Johnson said on 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.

  4. 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?

  5. Lady Snowcat said on 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….  


  6. Stephen Campbell said on 31st March 2008, 19:42

    Nigel Stepney!!!

  7. 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?

  8. FLIG said on 31st March 2008, 20:28

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

  9. Sean said on 31st March 2008, 20:37

    Time for Max Moronsley to go!!!

  10. Ratboy said on 31st March 2008, 21:06

    ME!! i’d sort them out. HEHE!!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Architrion said on 31st March 2008, 21:52

    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

  14. Benno said on 1st April 2008, 0:23

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

  15. Rabi said on 1st April 2008, 2:17

    What about Niki Lauda?  

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