Motor racing's governing body will need someone as strong and experienced as Max Mosley as its president if it decides he needs replacing at its meeting in June.
That is the view of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who believes that the FIA must find a replacement who is as competent as Mosley.
Speaking in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, di Montezemolo refused to judge Mosley's behaviour after the revelations about his private life.
But he did make it clear that should Mosley go, the sport and automotive industries will need a well-qualified successor.
When asked if he felt Mosley could still head the FIA after what happened, di Montezemolo said: "I think it's objectively unlikely, but I believe it depends on him and his sensibility.
"However, I can say that the day Mosley, for whatever reason, decides to leave, the FIA will need a leader with the same level of experience, competence, personality and balance.
"If I look at what Max has done these years on the issue of safety, at the speed with which a verdict was produced in the spy story, and other stuff, my judgement on him can be nothing but positive. If he leaves, in his place we'd need someone like him."
Looking back at the events surrounding the sex scandal, di Montezemolo indicated that it would be wrong for him to comment about the FIA president's behaviour.
"After having read what had happened, I called him to be close to him, since I've known him since 1973, when he was one of the March bosses.
"I don't like talking about other people's personal issues. I prefer not to comment either in my name or Ferrari's, since there are already too many censors and judges at large."