Todt: Now is time for FIA unity

Newly elected FIA president Jean Todt has called on the governing body to be unified in the forthcoming days, following a bitter fight between himself and rival Ari Vatanen

Todt: Now is time for FIA unity

With the last days of the election battle being marred by threats of court action plus suggestions of unfair lobbying and vote buying, Todt has said he hopes that even those who voted against him can now look to a future in which the FIA works together to sort out its problems.

Speaking at a news conference after the election result, Todt was quoted as saying by Reuters: "I like action, I like to make things go forward and I am really happy to see that so many countries chose me but everything is yet to be done.

"The day the election is over, everybody must share the same goals, including those who did not support me. I am not closing the door to anybody."

Todt has said he will see through his plan to appoint commissioners to each of the FIA's world championships - and he has even hinted that friend Michael Schumacher could get a role within the governing body.

"I want to nominate commissioners because I am not intending to run Formula 1 as a first person," he said. "I don't want to underestimate the problems but success in my career has always been to have the right people in my teams."

Speaking about Schumacher, he said: "He is like a son. There has always been a place for him next to me and there will still be."

Todt's success in the election was welcomed by outgoing president Max Mosley, who was sure that the FIA could now look forward to a bright future.

"I'm happy with the outcome of the vote because FIA is in very good hands," Mosley told The Associated Press. "Todt is very capable of handling the job - he is a very honest and direct man. We couldn't have had somebody better than him."

With total confidence in Todt, Mosley said there was no suggestion of him maintaining any influence over the governing body.

"It's a relief because you never stop working at this post," he said. "You are always worried when incidents occur. It was a good time for me to leave. I'm going to take a holiday and then we'll see. As we say, the devil makes work for idle hands."

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