Max Mosley's successor to be decided in Paris vote

Motor sport's governing body, the FIA, will elect its new president in Paris on Friday. Max Mosley, its controversial head for 16 years, is expected to be replaced by Ari Vatanen (photo right) or Jean Todt, two racing legends in the running.


AFP - Jean Todt and Ari Vatanen bring their battle to succeed Max Mosley as world motorsport's most powerful man to a conclusion on Friday.

Ex-Ferrari F1 team chief Todt, 63, and former world rally champion Vatanen, six years his junior, need a simple majority of the 224 votes to become FIA president, succeeding the controversial Mosley who has been in the hotseat for 16 years.

Although the new president will oversee motorsport in general, it is the marquee sport of Formula One and its future which will dominate the new agenda with Todt, who has the backing of Mosley, tipped to win Friday's vote.

"My team's approach will be based on consensus not confrontation," Todt told

"We want to further develop F1 so that it benefits all those involved, from teams to fans. As the regulator of a hugely competitive and technically complex sport we will also establish an independent disciplinary panel to investigate breaches of the rules and to recommend the most appropriate response."

F1 has had its fair share of problems with the McLaren 'Spygate' controversy followed by the damaging 'Crashgate' affair where Renault were caught up in a scandal where former driver Nelson Piquet was ordered to deliberately crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Vatanen, who has waged a fiery campaign, has vowed to make decision-making more democratic.

"We can all have the input into unlocking the vast potential which remains in F1," he said.

"Equally, that has to be combined with an independent judicial system that people have confidence in. When people don't have a a fair say, we have seen that it can lead to the potential break-up of F1. We must learn from our mistakes."

Mosley's departure will come after a tumultuous period in the life of the son of 1930s British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.

The 69-year-old won 60,000 pounds (70,000 euros, 100,000 dollars) in damages last year after a British newspaper alleged he had taken part in a "Nazi-themed sex orgy".

Mosley then had to contend with the death of his son Alexander, 39, who died of an accidental cocaine overdose at his home in London in May.

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