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Vatanen demands 'fair' election

Ari Vatanen

Inside F1 - Ari Vatanen

Candidate Ari Vatanen has taken legal action because he feared a lack of fairness in the election of a new head of motorsport's governing body the FIA.

The Finn's battle with former Ferrari boss Jean Todt to replace president Max Mosley has become increasingly bitter.

Vatanen has asked a Paris court to oversee the elections to ensure they are "democratic, free and fair".

But the FIA insists it has already has sufficient measures in place to supervise the 23 October vote.

It says it has appointed a public official to oversee the fairness of the election.

The FIA added in a statement: "The FIA is therefore at a loss to explain the purpose of this legal action, if not merely to generate further negative publicity and to attempt to raise doubts about the honesty of FIA staff."

I don't know why the FIA would act angrily if they have nothing to hide

Ari Vatanen

Finn Vatanen told the BBC's Inside F1 programme: "We were obliged to do it because so many clubs around the world were afraid that the vote would not be secret because there is a certain level of intimidation and fear of sanctions.

"So when they go to their voting booth they must know the vote is secret. This is the way to make sure.

"I don't know why the FIA would act angrily if they have nothing to hide."

Vatanen, who has accused Mosley of lacking "neutrality" following his public backing of Todt, added: "I am not saying this against Max Mosley by any means, but any operation run by one man for too long does need a change."

The row between Mosley and his would-be successor Vatanen has intensified this week, with the pair again trading blows via the exchange of letters.

The 57-year-old Finn has accused Mosley of being the first member of the FIA to "violate" the principle of neutrality.

Mosley, 69, responded with a letter expressing surprise but reiterating his support for 63-year-old Todt.

While Vatanen has received the backing of Formula 1 teams and manufacturers, Todt is claiming considerable support within the governing body.


As well as accusing Mosley of lacking neutrality, Vatanen also suggested FIA resources had been used on Todt's behalf.

Vatanen added that a strongly worded letter sent by Mosley to Jordan's Prince Faisal, one of the Finn's leading supporters, had been defamatory and reserved the right to take legal action.

Mosley responded by urging Vatanen to provide evidence of any wrongdoing so the FIA could investigate.

The FIA has also invited Vatanen to specify and substantiate his allegations, an offer it says he has so far not taken up.

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see also
Schumacher backs Todt presidency
14 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Vatanen hits back in Mosley row
02 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
F1 infighting must end - Vatanen
10 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Teams call for neutral F1 chief
25 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Todt to stand for FIA presidency
16 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
I will quit presidency - Mosley
15 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Time for change at FIA - Vatanen
11 Jul 09 |  Formula 1

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