Ward confirms his bid

David Ward has confirmed that he is making a bid for the FIA Presidency. He says he will stand down after 12 years as head of the FIA Foundation and will hand over the role to his deputy Saul Billingsley.

“After much careful thought I have decided to stand as a candidate in the 2013 FIA Presidential election,” Ward said. “The election period begins in September and it will be necessary for me to approach FIA members to secure nominations. In these circumstances I think that the correct course of action is to resign. Election processes inevitably involve robust and lively debate, and whilst the Foundation is independent and there is no legal requirement for me to resign, I believe that it is in the best interests of the charity that I stand down now.”

Ward is not to be underestimated, not only because of his record with the FIA Foundation, but also because of work with the FIA during the Max Mosley era, where he was responsible for many keys ideas and campaigns.

39 thoughts on “Ward confirms his bid

  1. Should make the election interesting, Ward is of course very well connected with the mobility clubs in FIA and many of those backed Vatanen in his bid 4 years ago. Joe do you have information as to who the “respected, global automotive executive” could be that according Dieter Rencken may make a bid for FIA president too?

  2. I dont know much about him but he is clearly an influential person to those in the know. Do you think he could do this so as to have a platform to get himself noticed for the FOM chief exec job should it become available? Is he the right sort of person for the FOM job post Bernie?

  3. Ward’s main obstacle being …. Ferrari’s behind Todt 110% … all those financially backing Ferrari including the countries involved as well ( big Middle Eastern money ) … and like it – admit it – or not … Ferrari rules the roost when it comes to the FIA and has for the last 50 years . Some things almost never change … especially when it comes to politics and money 😉

      1. I’m probably not up to date on that relationship either (or maybe I’ve forgotten). What factors may have put distance between them?

        1. It was happening even before JT left Ferrari, and I’m not sure that Luca Di Montezemolo was particularly keen to have JT at the FIA. He’s anything but a puppet!!

  4. It would seem that having more than one candidate for the position should be a requirement before the process gets underway, but maybe within the FIA there is no real stomach for a drawn out battle of candidates, or maybe ‘no’ candidates?

    I’ve got no argument with Todt, he has kept away from most controversy, and has had a steady hand in things, but maybe he is ‘too quiet’ and too ‘pro-French’ as well, especially with tyre manufacturers!

  5. Pardon my ignorance, but could you write a piece on the differences in the platforms of the candidates? Thanks.

  6. Joe do you believe that this might mean the FIA members now decided to turn to Ward to help them get a larger share of money and influence on F1 because Todt is not delivering?

  7. As a Moseley man, and given the former closeness of BE and MM, is there are a scenario where Ward can have organised a better deal for the money than perhaps Todt can getter from BE?

    Just speculation of course, and I doubt BE would back anything other than the winning horse.

    1. It would hard for Bernie to get a better deal than he has. Secondly the FIA President does not such decisions on his own and the membership is unlikely to agree to a worse deal than they have now. That served its purpose at the time, but no is an opportunity.

  8. Stepping gingerly around any number of legal and historical minefields–

    I wonder, given that Ward is presumably being counselled or assisted by the immediate FIA past-president, whether one effect of Ward’s candidacy will be to bring out into the open a number of the issues between the FIA and the commercial-rights holder that the CRH would rather not be discussed in public, thus having a detrimental effect on the CRH?

    1. Ah, you mean the 300 million issues? Yes, could be a way – if he wins – to get that awkwardness-for-the-CRH to stop.

  9. A new president could perhaps take control of the tyres supply and introduce a fee to be paid to the FIA. Say 4MEuros. Someone half way between Max and Todt. Is that David Ward? Some control needs taking back from Bernie. Todt is too busy being presidential.

  10. It will be interesting to see how F1 matters, eg Concorde, are affected by this (not unexpected) news. Given that presidents are normally more powerful at the commencement of their terms than the end, it would seem sensible for Todt to put everything on the back burner and return to the table later in a position of greater strength, if he wins; if he doesn’t, it’s Ward’s problem but one he will theoretically have the position to resolve.

    In turn, the positions of Ecclestone (if he has one by the end of the elections), FOM, CVC and in particular its planned floation, Pirelli, possibly even the teams can surely only be adversely affected in the short term. Some of this may, of course, be a good thing.

    Todt’s alternative, to fast track issues, would, I think, be seen as a sign of weakness and would likely strengthen the positions of the other players, all of whom need outcomes more expediently than Le Président.
    .

    1. I think if JT senses that DW will win, he will find a reason to withdraw. That’s how they do it in FIA politics, unless they don’t care about losing, which most of them do!

    1. He was certainly on Max’s staff at the time, but I don’t know if he was directly involved. What you have to understand is why that deal happened as it did. There is some logic in it. And Ward’s bid for power may complete Max’s original plan…

  11. Is Ward firmly a motorsport man, by inclination and experience, or more road car/motor industry orientated?

  12. I don’t profess to know, but I get the impression that there was a lot of rather underhand wheeling and dealing going on in the Moseley era, which hasnt been happening under Todt – If I am right is Ward likely to bring a return to the Moseley way?

      1. The FIA President works incredibly hard. If you think of all the championships, all the campaigns and so on. It is impressive how much gets done. And if you don’t believe me, ask Max.

  13. Given the somewhat bad press that Moseley attracted, ignoring his private life, I’d have thought that Ward would not want a return to that kind of governance.

    The teams would also perhaps prefer the more normal operational existence that has existed under Todt?

  14. Let’s not forget that the FIA is not only responsible for F1. I think Jean Todt originally said he would focus on developing other categories. Which hasn’t really worked out for the WRC.

    Todt also originally said he would only ever run for one term. As Joe mentioned already if the vote is not looking good I expect Todt will revert to this original stance.

    1. I do not believe he did say he would serve only one term. He has also had successes with other championships, even if the WRC has been troublesome.

        1. I don’t remember that. I seem to recall him telling me at some point that the job would take two terms, probably after the above quote was made. In any case, he’s changed his mind. No big deal in that.

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