FIA presidential candidate David Ward has kick-started his campaign by launching a website containing his manifesto, which he calls an ‘Agenda for Change.’
The Briton has also written to member clubs in order to garner the support he needs to be formally nominated as a candidate for the December election.
Incumbent Jean Todt has yet to confirm that he is running again, although he is believed to have started campaigning behind the scenes.
In the letter, Ward explains why he is standing: “Over the last year I have been approached by a wide range of FIA stakeholders encouraging me to be a candidate. The role of president of the FIA has not been something I have wanted or envisaged for myself. My preferred option is for a club president to serve as president of the FIA. Indeed, it has been a long time since a club leader has also led the FIA. However, in the absence of another candidate, I am interested to stand to promote an agenda of further governance reform.
“Under the leadership of both Max Mosley and Jean Todt there has been continual progress in shaping the FIA to meet the challenge it faces in a rapidly changing world. Jean Todt’s presidency has solid achievements to highlight, and I am still proud to have played a key role in his successful 2009 election. However, that does not mean that further change isn’t necessary to ensure that the FIA develops a governance system that meets global best practices.”
Requesting nominations, he says: “For my candidacy to be confirmed by mid-November, I will need to have obtained nominations from 26 clubs, comprising nine ACNs, 10 mobility clubs, and seven ASNs. I would be honored, therefore, if your club would consider nominating me as a candidate for the position of FIA president for the election to be held on Dec. 6, 2013.”
He concludes: “I passionately believe that the FIA has an important role to play as the defender of motorists and motor sport participants and as the guardian of safe and fair competition on road and track. All I would ask is for a fair hearing for the governance reforms that I believe are necessary to strengthen the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of the FIA so that it can better serve the interests of its membership.”
More on his campaign can be found at: davidwardandteam2013.com.
(Update: 2 pm ET)
F1 Team Bosses Suggest Todt Should Continue
F1’s major team principals appeared to come out in support of Jean Todt Friday when asked about David Ward’s challenge for the FIA Presidency.
They admitted that they didn’t know enough about Ward’s manifesto – which was released Friday – but the consensus was that continuity would be good, and that the lack of controversy under Todt’s leadership has been an improvement compared with previous eras.
Such a view was perhaps inevitable – in public at least – especially as two of them worked closely with Todt at Ferrari.
“I think that in Formula One it’s important to proceed with stability and continuity – it’s one of the things that we are always missing,” said Stefano Domencali. “So, I believe that what is important to keep as a relation with the FIA is this kind of thing, and so therefore I would like to see this happening – but, of course, it is not us that will decide that.”
“I don’t know David Ward well enough and I haven’t had time to look at his manifesto, so I really can’t comment on him,” said Martin Whitmarsh. “I think Jean – and clearly I don’t know Jean as well as some of the people here – but I have to say taking him as the president, I think he has not used this sport for his own ego, which I think is very tempting. I won’t go back into the past, but I’ve seen and survived, so far, three presidents – only just, one of them – but I think Jean has acted in the interests of motorsport.
“I think for some people there hasn’t been enough commotion, action, controversy around him. Those are good in some people’s minds, but I think for those of us that participate in the sport, having some consistency, someone who takes decisions that are in the interests of the sport quietly and efficiently is very beneficial. We don’t influence the outcome, but I think Jean has done a good job so far, and we’ll see if he’s successful at continuing to be the president.”
“Obviously, I know Jean very well, having worked together for 10 years,” said Ross Brawn. “I think stability and consistency are very important. I think Jean has taken a quiet line, particularly in terms of Formula One and that – as Martin (Whitmarsh) said, those of us who have experienced the other end of the scale – is welcome.
“And I think the opportunity to do another period as a president of the FIA is important, that we have that continuity. I think Jean has stabilized the situation and now wants to move on to progress things, and I know the huge commitment he makes to the sport overall. We are part of motorsport but there’s a huge amount of other things going on that he’s active in. And I think the continuity is very important.”
Christian Horner made the point that Todt has yet to formally confirm that he will challenge Ward.
“I guess to have an election you’ve got to have more than one candidate,” Horner said. “It now relies on Jean to become a candidate, and declare that he’s prepared to continue, as well. I think as the others have summarized, he’s done a very good job in his presidency so far. It really has very little to do with us; it really is an FIA issue and between the different ASNs – and who knows, there may even be another candidate. I think Jean’s done a very good job and everything’s already been said.”