Bernie backs Todt for FIA

Bernie Ecclestone has given his support to former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt in this month’s election of a new president for the sport’s governing body, the FIA.

Todt is in the running against 1981 World Rally Champion and former European parliament member Ari Vatanen after current president Max Mosley decided not to stand again after 16 years in the post.

Ecclestone doesn’t have a say in the election of Mosley’s successor, as only the 221 FIA member clubs can vote on the federation’s new president. But if he had a vote during the election on October 23, Ecclestone made it clear where it would go. “My money is on Todt,” he said.

When asked to explain the reasons for his decision, Ecclestone said: “I don’t know enough about him [Vatanen]. As far as I’m concerned there’s a question mark on him, but I know Todt.”

He added that, “whoever becomes president will appreciate the problems that Max has had” and thinks that Mosley will spend his retirement writing his memoirs of a colourful life and career.

When asked what Ecclestone would do if he were given the post of FIA president, he had one word to say: “retire”.
Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid