Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Ari Vatanen, who hopes to be the FIA's next president, has said the organisation must get their own house in order after criticism.
Ari Vatanen, who hopes to be the FIA's next president, has said the organisation must get their own house in order after criticism.

Vatanen pledges new start

The FIA presidency hopeful calls for change, while an Indian consortium are set to buy BMW-Sauber in a deal involving a driver from the sub-continent.

Ari Vatanen, a former World Rally Championship title winner, has billed himself as the catalyst for change if he becomes the next Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) president. He is viewed as the underdog ahead of the October 23 election which pits him against Jean Todt, particularly as outgoing president Max Mosley has resoundingly endorsed Todt as his successor.

Todt, a former team principal of Ferrari, has plenty of support but Vatanen has said he should not be turned to solely as a vote against Mosley. "No, I am [not the anti-Max candidate] the new-start-for-the-FIA candidate. "I'll leave it for other people to decide whether Jean is tainted by Max's endorsement. "Max has said several times he wants to leave his legacy to Jean, who has said he wants to carry on the extraordinary work of Max. That's fair enough.

"But me and my team, we propose something different. We want an FIA based on noble values, honesty and transparency, where not only minorities benefit, but everybody benefits. If people see the FIA's reputation is damaged then it is an alarm call to get our act together." Mosley was at the centre of the dispute with Formula One teams over the introduction of a voluntary budget cap. Vatanen feels the FIA and the sport only have themselves to blame for the governing body's tarnished reputation.

"Remember, we are not just representing the 20 drivers in F1 who are the very visible part of our iceberg, but also what is underneath - the one billion automobile users," he said. "I'm not here for polemics or to point a finger at someone. We have to observe, assess and judge things truthfully. "If the image of the FIA is damaged, why? Because the FIA has been a battleground for family members, of humiliation, of personal victories and ego trips, you name it.

"We can only improve it in the eyes of the rest of the world if we improve our own behaviour. " An Indian consortium has applied to buy BMW-Sauber, which is seeking new backers after German carmaker BMW said it was pulling out of the sport at the end of the season. The deal involves Swiss driver Neel Jani, who features in the A1 GP series and whose father is Indian. An Indian already owns an F1 team with billionaire Vijay Mallya's Force India, but there is no Indian driver on the grid.

Last month team principal Mario Theissen said BMW-Sauber had several rescue proposals and had applied to keep their place in the sport next year. * Agencies

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi plays with a rugby ball during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, near Barcelona in Sant Joan Despi, April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

In pictures: Barca play a little rugby before Copa del Rey final

Barcelona and Real Madrid will play in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night but the day before the match, Braca players played a little rugby during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Barca meet Real Madrid on Wednesday at 11.30pm (UAE time) and the match will be on BeIn Sports.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Faisal Al Ketbi, standing, has been the poster boy for the upcoming Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

Faisal Al Ketbi is in spotlight for world jiu-jitsu championships at Abu Dhabi

Faisal Al Ketbi is the poster boy for UAE jiu-jitsu, with his picture prominent in the billboards and advertisements for this week’s Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

 Abdelaziz Haikal, left, avoids getting tackled, but his Al Ahli side were forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal, from Saudi Arabia. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli miss huge opportunity to progress in ACL

Dubai side forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal. Ahmed Rizvi reports.

 Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, left, gestures from his car after winning the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. He will be among the favourites at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones

F1: Mercedes look to capitalise on woes at Red Bull and Ferrari

Ferrari were left reeling after team principal Stefano Domenicali quit and Red Bull were handed a setback when they lost their appeal for Daniel Ricciardo as both incidents have heightened the mood at Mercedes ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

 Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa could be wearing a blue kit next season at Chelsea in the English Premier League. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Atletico’s Diego Simeone cannot stop Diego Costa move to Chelsea

Diego Costa has been the standout player for Atletico Madrid with his 26 goals, which has attracted the attention of several leading European clubs and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea are reportedly at the front of the queue.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National