Ari Vatanen feels he is the front runner in the FIA president election race following Max Mosley’s letter urging people to vote for Jean Todt. Vatanen told this site:
It is very sad he has done this. But they know we are leading now. If he knew they were leading he would never write such a letter. This means the tide is turning. This is what happens in an election when you challenge the establishment.
Mosley had previously written to Jordan motor sport chairman Prince Feisal Al Hussein to criticise Vatanen’s campaign:
Any thought that, after the election, everyone can unite and work together can now be forgotten. It is not possible to make statements like Vatanen’s and then expect the victims of insults and untruths to forget what has been said.
Vatanen will lose the election and lose badly, not least because he chose to denigrate the FIA and those currently in office rather than run a constructive and civilised campaign.
Although he wouldn’t be drawn on exactly how many supporters he has, Vatanen admitted that some of them were those who had backed Mosley in the FIA vote of confidence in June last year.
He agreed that there are concerns over the fair running of the election in three weeks time. Specifically, he wants to ensure the ballot is secret to prevent delegates from being leant on to vote one way or another:
Obviously this is the key question because there is a fear of intimidation. Contrary to what Max Mosley says it cannot be foreseen how they will vote. They follow their heart and conscience.
The French laws are very good in this respect and we are seeking legal advice. It’s important that we know the ballot papers are going to be anonymous. They should not be given out in envelopes with the voters’ names on it.
Vatanen and Todt bumped into each other on the grid at Singapore last weekend, but it looks like Bernie Ecclestone and FIA public relations chief Richard Woods were keen to keep them apart:
Is Mosley’s letter a sign the FIA outsider
Vatanen now has the upper hand? Have your say in the comments.