Vatanen to unveil supporters this week

FIA presidential hopeful Ari Vatanen will unveil his 'cabinet' of supporters later this week, AUTOSPORT has learned

Vatanen to unveil supporters this week

The former world rally champion is fighting with Jean Todt for the top position within motor racing's governing body, and is set to move his campaign up a gear in the next few days by announcing the key figures backing his bid.

Although no details have been revealed about who will take key positions within his presidential team, it is expected that his cabinet will include the head of the German ADAC federation's Hermann Tomczyk.

Vatanen is currently in South America, and has already attended two grands prix to speak to key figures about his plans for the future should he be elected.

And although F1 teams have no say in the outcome of the election, Vatanen has said he is encouraged by the early feedback he has got - but is not wasting too much time thinking about how things stand right now.

"I limit myself to the task at hand - not trying to figure out how many eggs I have got in the basket," Vatanen told AUTOSPORT. "They will not hatch before October 23, and it is a secret hatching - so why waste energy on something like that. I don't know what is going to happen then.

"Of course, people have aspirations and in all modesty, I feel that most of those aspirations for a new start are channelled through me and my team. That is all I can say.

"It not against Jean, it is not against anybody. That is just what I feel. How much of that that will be translated into votes on D-day remains to be seen, but I have never been worried about that. In the end itself, every second of this is worthwhile."

Although the early days of the election battle were clouded by controversy after Vatanen claimed that the FIA was helping fund Todt's campaign, he insists his comments were never intended as a criticism, and that his comments were taken out of context.

"I learned my lesson," he explained. "I never said one word negative about Jean, and not one word negative about Max. In my track record in public life over 30 years I never criticised people personally. But I may make a mistake, and if I do then please forgive me if I do something wrong.

"In my years in the European parliament I could not say the truth about my colleagues, so I said nothing - and I did not criticise them. Never. It is not my style.

"But it is also my role to also point out what kind of practices may go on. But I may have made a mistake, and people focused on one single comment and interpreted what I said about the FIA working as the FIA, and were our positions equal. That was all I said."

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