FOTA denies opposing Todt as FIA president
(GMM) A FOTA spokesperson has denied simplistic media reports characterizing the battle to succeed Max Mosley as FIA president.
Those reports claim October's election is essentially a choice between Mosley's preferred successor Todt, who stands for unpleasant continuity and is a 'patsy', and Ari Vatanen, heavily favored by the F1 manufacturers' alliance.
But the FOTA spokesperson told inthenews.co.uk that "there is quite a lot of mischief-making going on".
"The media are trying to create a war between 'the FOTA backed Ari Vatanen' and 'the FIA backed Jean Todt', if you like, but Mosley is perfectly entitled to back somebody," the spokesperson said.
"There is this big thing where people are saying that Todt is Mosley's man, but Jean Todt is Jean Todt.
"His record in motor sport is second to none and the idea that he is some patsy is totally bonkers."
The spokesperson acknowledged that 63-year-old Todt, who ran the Ferrari team with an iron fist for 14 years until 2007, is not universally the most popular figure in the paddock.
But he insists that "it's absolutely not the case that they (FOTA) would question his ability".
The spokesperson said FOTA's wishes for an 'independent' new president only means they want someone with "no baggage" as a result of the recent political wrangling.
The comments come amid suggestions the signing of a new Concorde Agreement, which will stabilize formula one for at least three years, will occur within days.