Candidates trade blows as battle for FIA winds down

Wed, 14 October 2009, 08:31

Oct.14 (GMM) A bitter battle for control of F1’s governing body is entering its last days, with candidates Jean Todt and Ari Vatanen trading blows ahead of next Friday’s election.

The heat of their conflict revved up recently after incumbent Max Mosley predicted in a leaked letter that Vatanen will “lose badly” to his preferred successor Todt, who is also backed publicly by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

“I couldn’t expect anything else from them,” said the Finnish candidate, a former member of European Parliament and 1981 world rally champion.

“They are a continuation of the old power and they don’t want the family silver to be served by people who wish to apply modern governance,” Vatanen told The Sport Briefing.

Meanwhile, former Ferrari boss Todt’s final move in his campaign is a letter to the Paris based federation’s worldwide membership, hitting out at the “negative tone” of Vatanen’s bid for office.

The Frenchman insists that, in contrast, his own campaign has been “dignified” and “focused on the real issues”, while his opponents made “false allegations” and “personal attacks”.

“We regret this and will not be part of a process that can only reflect badly on our activities, our sport and the mobility world in general,” wrote Todt.

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