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July 17, 2009

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Ex-Ferrari boss Todt to contest for FIA top post

FORMER Ferrari boss Jean Todt threw his hat into the ring yesterday to succeed Max Mosley as president of motor sport's world governing body, the International Automobile Federation.

Todt's decision to stand came a day after Mosley had named the Frenchman as the ideal person to replace him.

The election is due on October 23, with Finland's 1981 world rally champion Ari Vatanen the only other declared candidate.

"Following the decision of Max Mosley not to seek a further term of office and his unequivocal support of my candidacy, I have written to the FIA membership to inform them that I wish to stand for the Presidency of the FIA," said Todt in a statement.

"It is my intention to continue and expand the outstanding work of President Mosley," he added.

Todt, who presided over a golden era at Ferrari with Michael Schumacher winning five titles in a row from 2000 to 2004, also named his leadership team.

The two vice-presidential candidates were Kiwi Brian Gibbons and Britain's Graham Stoker while American Nick Craw was proposed for president of the FIA Senate.

Existing roles

Todt will be seen as the favorite for the job, given his reputation and existing roles within the FIA, although he is unlikely to go down well with Formula One teams still threatening a breakaway series.

Meanwhile, Spanish teenager Jaime Alguersuari is set to become Formula One's youngest ever driver after Toro Rosso ran out of patience with France's Sebastien Bourdais yesterday.

The Ferrari-powered team, winner of its home Italian Grand Prix last year with Germany's Sebastian Vettel, said four-time Champ Car champion Bourdais had made his last appearance for them.

His replacement will be announced shortly before next week's Hungarian GP.

"In Sebastien's second year with us, the partnership has not met our expectations," added team boss Franz Tost. "Therefore we have decided to replace him as from the next round of the world championship."

It did not say who would get the drive but 19-year-old Alguersuari has been widely tipped to start in Budapest.


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