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Mosley wants Todt as successor

MAX Mosley backed former Ferrari boss Jean Todt as his ideal successor yesterday after ending speculation that he would seek a fifth term as head of motorsport's world governing body.

The International Automobile Federation president wrote to all member clubs saying he had received almost 100 messages of support from within the organization but had decided to stand down anyway.

Mosley, 69, said a new commercial "Concorde" agreement for Formula One was close to being finalized while new teams had been brought in and costs reduced.

The Briton hinted recently that he was considering standing again but yesterday said it would "greatly complicate my domestic arrangements and be inconsistent with my obligations to my family."

He presented Todt as the best man to take over, an endorsement that would give the Frenchman a huge advantage for the October election but that is unlikely to go down well with Formula One teams still threatening a breakaway series.

"I believe the objectives of those who have been kind enough to support me can be achieved if you elect a strong, experienced and competent team, one which will maintain the independence of the FIA and ensure that both the sport and the mobility side are properly run," said Mosley.

The Briton said that, as an ex officio member of the FIA Senate, he hoped to play "a modest role" in that team.

"I believe the right person to head that team would be Jean Todt," he added. "Jean is unquestionably the outstanding motorsport manager of his generation and arguably of any generation."

Todt, 63, presided over Ferrari's most successful period in Formula One with Germany's Michael Schumacher winning five titles in a row between 2000 and 2004.

"I must emphasize he would not in any way be a motor industry candidate," said Mosley. "He would have no special relationship with his former company, Ferrari, nor with Peugeot-Citroen."

Finland's Ari Vatanen, the 1981 world rally champion, is so far the only declared candidate to run the FIA.


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