Jackie Stewart has revealed that he was asked by a senior Formula 1 figure if he would consider standing for the FIA presidential election this year.
The three-time World Champion has long been critical of the current FIA regime and, with Ari Vatanen and Jean Todt putting their hats into the ring, Stewart has said he has come under pressure from individuals in the sport to join the battle for the top job in the governing body.
Although there are suggestions that one of the individuals who asked him to stand was Bernie Ecclestone, Stewart has refused to confirm the identity – but has made it clear he has no interest in joining the contest.
"First of all I am 70 years of age," he told AUTOSPORT about why he decided not to listen to the pressure to stand. "I think that you have to bring in a considerably younger person.
"My view is that nobody [for the job] should be taken from the cockpit, the garage or the pitlane from Formula 1 – although I think there is an enormous desire for change.
"I don't think that the FIA will change much if Jean Todt gets in, because I think that regime will stay the same. I would be worried about the chances of Ari winning, but I think that [him winning] would be the right thing for the sport."
He added: "I think the sport desperately needs change – when you see what happened with a 100 million dollar fine, when you see what happened to Ron Dennis, when you see what is happening with Flavio Briatore.
"If you see what happened in all of those cases, of Ron Dennis being removed and maybe Briatore being removed, all of this laundry being done in public and being fed and leaks being sent out, it is all very unfortunate and that does not spell good corporate governance.
"To change that would take a minimum of five or 10 years of my life, and that is too long. I still think to this day that there must be sufficient change to radically alter the manner in which the sport is run, because in my view this paddock is ruled by threat and fear – even the media. That is wrong."
When asked if he could confirm the identity of the person who asked him, Stewart said: "I cannot tell you that...but it was somebody quite important."