Graham Stoker

Stoker becomes second candidate to announce bid for FIA presidency

2021 F1 Season

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Graham Stoker, the FIA deputy president for sport, has announced he will stand as a candidate to succeed Jean Todt as president of motorsport’s governing body.

Todt’s presidency will come to an end this year as the FIA’s rules prevent him from seeking a fourth term.

Stoker joined the FIA in 2001, when he was elected to the International Court of Appeal. He has been a member of the World Motor Sport Council since 2004, representing the UK, and was elected to deputy president in 2009, at the same time Todt was elected president. Stoker, like Todt, was re-elected in 2013 and 2017.

In a letter to motor clubs seen by RaceFans, Stoker announced his intention to run for the presidency with support from deputy president of mobility Thierry Willemarck and president of the FIA Senate Brian Gibbons.

“As you know we have been members of president Jean Todt’s successful leadership team these last years,” Stoker wrote. “During this time, we have been able to help introduce many new innovative programmes and resources to support members and have assisted the president in developing our clubs and building the FIA into a strong, respected and influential international organisation.

“Now, as we face the Covid pandemic together, and with the encouragement of so many of you, we intend in due time to stand as a team for election, under my leadership as presidential candidate. We firmly believe that the next four years will be critical to all of us and that this is the time for stability and experience that builds on past success, not the uncertainty that change may bring.”

The FIA president’s responsibilities include more than its high-profile authority over world motorsport. Motoring clubs and local automotive bodies also fall under the FIA’s remit.

In his letter Stoker told members his candidacy was based on the need for continuity during the challenges of the global pandemic. “We will work in partnership with you to help recover from this challenging and tragic time,” he said.

“Programmes will be prioritised that will further support you with resources, expert help, and focussed leadership. Although there appears to be reason for cautious optimism regarding Covid, experts suggest it will be some years before our lives return to what they once were. We trust you will support us in our efforts to rebuild confidence and to ‘Build Back Better’.”

Stoker, a sports barrister, has been involved with motorsport since 1985 when he began volunteering as a steward, taking a leadership role in 1995 as chairman of the permanent stewards to the British Touring Car Championship. He is the second candidate to announce he will seek the presidency, joining Mohammed ben Sulayem.

Read an in-depth analysis of the FIA president’s role and who can be expected to challenge for it in the latest edition of the RacingLines column on RaceFans

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 11 comments on “Stoker becomes second candidate to announce bid for FIA presidency”

    1. I don’t think f1 is British enough.

    2. Stoker:

      “this is the time for stability and experience that builds on past success, not the uncertainty that change may bring.”

      Opponent Sulayem:

      “We will take our time on policy formation to ensure it is developed in the most inclusive and democratic way. We will do this by seeking the advice of our members via a process of open consultation,”

      None of that modern, inclusive, consulting and democratic stuff for this old gent..

      1. That is a very good point: motorsport has to change. It is shocking that it’s still a white male dominated sport. Personally, I am supportive of reducing the environmental damage done by the sport, but Formula E or Extreme E don’t hold my attention.

        Apparently younger folks (<30) aren't as interested in driving either; I'd sent off for my provisional license before I was 17 & bought a cr@pwagon (thanks Paul Tracy) soon after.

        I'm also struggling to see how Extreme E raises awareness when they're in the middle of no where and the terrestrial coverage (in the UK) is at 7am on ITV4. I recorded it and switched off when the dust made it impossible for following cars to race (in that I'm not interested in an unfair contest).

        1. How do you want a mechnical sport that costs a fortune to participate in, have a lower barrier to entry for people without money?

          Lewis was talking about the same and im very interested in how people want to achieve this.

          Because motorsport will never be like football, hockey, tennis, cricket or athletics,
          1 set of karting tires cost so much its the equivalent of giving 150 kids a ball…

          Reply moderated
        2. Not George, Extreme E was also screened on 4 different slots on the BBC Red Button (one for each live session – the races were spread across three of them), as well as a lunchtime Sunday BBC 2 broadcast slot. I’m surprised you missed it.

        3. Honestly, this body-typing is getting seriously old. What’s skin color and gender got to do with anything? The underlying premise is that people with a certain type skin color are lacking.

      2. @balue the irony of a gulf Arab talking about democracy

        1. @gardenfella72 That’s a little unfair seeing how Western style states, including UK, practice something very different to the original Greek system that gave us the name democracy.

        2. @gardenfella72 That’s a prejudicial and discriminatory view. Just because a government is rubbish doesn’t mean that everybody from that country lack values and integrity.

          But if there is any irony here based on nationalities, it’s that when it comes to sporting organizations, we must currently look to people from arab countries for modern and democratic leadership over western ones.

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