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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

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

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

    What about Niki Lauda?  

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

  7. AmericanTifosi said on 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.

  8. AmericanTifosi said on 1st April 2008, 15:46

    make that LONG interview, sorry

  9. Mindworks said on 1st April 2008, 16:07

    The Stig

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

  11. Liquid said on 1st April 2008, 17:12

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

  12. michael counsell said on 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.

  13. Architrion said on 1st April 2008, 21:33

    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 :-))

  14. 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.

  15. toe said on 4th April 2008, 8:30

    The Stig !

  16. toe said on 4th April 2008, 8:31

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

  17. Horny King said on 4th April 2008, 9:07

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

  18. 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.

    Granprix.com 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."

  19. Jonathan said on 10th April 2008, 18:41

    My proposal is Kari O. Sohlberg.

  20. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th April 2008, 18:53

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

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