FIA Foundation Director General David Ward Resigns From Position To Run For Presidency
FIA Foundation Dir General David Ward "has resigned his position" in order to "challenge for the presidency of the FIA," according to Tom Cary of the London TELEGRAPH. Incumbent FIA President Jean Todt, who is on a business trip in Africa, "has still not confirmed whether or not he intends to stand for a second term." The Frenchman "has been a divisive president." No other potential candidates "have yet put their names forward" (TELEGRAPH, 8/29). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported Ward, who was a key adviser to former FIA President Max Mosley, "has led the Foundation since it was set up in 2001 as an independent charitable body with a focus on road safety and the environment." He "was also a policy advisor to the late British Labour Party leader John Smith, who died in 1994, and was then director general of the FIA's European Bureau in Brussels" (REUTERS, 8/29). AUTOSPORT's Jonathan Noble reported "having revealed several weeks ago that he was considering putting himself forward as a candidate, Ward has decided to resign from his Foundation role to focus on an election campaign." Ward: "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's position as director general "will be taken temporarily by his deputy Saul Billingsley before a permanent successor is appointed" (AUTOSPORT, 8/29).
CRUCIAL TIME: In London, Kevin Eason reported "this is a critical moment for Formula One with disputes and fears over the sport’s entire future." Ecclestone "will face criminal charges in a German court in the next few weeks, while Todt’s leadership has been questioned right from the start of his presidency." F1 "still has no official commercial structure with the Concorde Agreement, the binding tripartite deal between the teams, the FIA and Ecclestone’s F1 company, still to be signed, even though the deadline was at the end of last year, and the sport has been consumed by in-fighting and intrigue." Ward "has emerged as a potential peacemaker with an agenda for change" (LONDON TIMES, 8/29).