Former rally driver Mohammed Ben Sulayem has become the first figure to pitch his hat into the ring to replace Jean Todt as president of the FIA.

Todt's third and final term in office draws to a close in December this year, bringing to an end a 12-year reign since he took over from Max Mosley in October 2009.

Todt defeated 1981 world rally champion Ari Vatanen to take up the post and was then unopposed when it came to re-election in 2013 and 2017.

After becoming FIA vice-president for mobility and sport in 2008, Ben Sulayem had considered running against the Frenchman eight years ago only to withdraw.

With the position now due to become vacant, 14-times Middle East rally champion Ben Sulayem has declared his hand, running under the banner 'FIA for Members', "focused on delivering what the members want and need".

Ben Sulayem said: "I want to give much back to the FIA and its amazing community, and I hope my experience in both mobility and sport as a vice president, competitor, but also a businessman and car enthusiast can add value.

"I am proud to lead such an experienced and passionate team that is focused on delivering what the members want and need."

In running for president, a candidate has to propose a team, which includes Carmelo Sanz de Barros as head of the FIA Senate; Tim Shearman as deputy president for mobility, and Robert Reid as deputy president for motorsport.

The FIA for Members ticket states the FIA should be "members-led, not a top-down hierarchy, but rather a bottom-up federation.

"We will therefore take our time on policy formation to ensure it is developed in the most inclusive and democratic way. We will do this by seeking the advice of our members via a process of open consultation."

It further adds the FIA "must move forward with passion and purpose, facing the challenges and opportunities arising every day across sport and mobility.

"We must also cherish our tradition and history, the foundations that give us the right to position the FIA as global thought leaders."

Pertinently, it states the FIA needs "fresh thinking and proactive leadership" that will be achieved "by further integrating mobility and sports, thus delivering the necessary competition portfolio and global engagement platforms to support the members and audiences of the future".


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