Vicky Chandhok, the former president of the Federation of Motor Sports in India (FMSI), has ruled himself out of the battle for the FIA presidency later this year.
Chandhok's close links with Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley had prompted speculation that he could launch his own bid to become president in October's elections. However, despite saying he would relish the opportunity of running motor racing's governing body if the chance came up, Chandhok has made it clear that he does not want to get involved in fighting a hard-fought election.
"Of course I would like the challenge of being FIA president, and if someone asked me to do it I would readily accept it," Chandhok told AUTOSPORT. "However, I have said several times that I would only do so if I had the full support of Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 teams and the current president, which is Max Mosley.
"I have no interest in getting involved in a big election battle with Ari Vatanen and Jean Todt, so I would like to clarify once and for all that I shall not be throwing my hat into the ring this time."
Chandhok believes the fight between the two confirmed contenders for the presidency, Vatanen and Todt, will be very tight – as both men begin canvassing FIA member clubs for support.
"It is too close to call," explained Chandhok. "We heard what Vatanen had to say recently, and he has come across as a neutral candidate, who would bring change to the FIA. But Todt has great experience of motorsport and from within the FIA, having sat on the World Motor Sport Council, and providing he can show that he is untied from the past, then he would be a worthy president too."