The Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) has announced its backing for Ari Vatanen in this month's FIA Presidential election, set for Oct. 23.
Officials at the SAMF met in Riyadh on Monday evening and unanimously decided to support Vatanen's bid for the presidency, as well as his vice-president His Royal Highness Prince Feisal Al-Hussein.
"We looked long and hard at all the proposals and studied what was on offer from both sides," said Mishaal Al-Sudairy, SAMF president. "We reached the decision that the policies to be followed by Ari Vatanen and HRH Prince Feisal fitted better with the future plans of the ambitious Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and we will support Ari Vatanen in the election. We are looking forward to working behind the new president in a unified FIA.
"After meeting with Ari Vatanen, we realized that the rumor that he was going to give more voting power to larger clubs was totally unfounded. Only the General Assembly can change the detail of the voting system.
"Ari has built up a strong support team and we feel that the members of that group better suit the requirements of the sport's governing body and the best interests of motorsport across the globe."
Al-Sudairy also called on the FIA to make sure there's a fair and secret ballot on election day.
"It is imperative that individuals are not pressured into voting for a particular side and the election is carried out in a fair and democratic way," added Al-Sudairy. "I am also satisfied with Ari's and HRH Prince Feisal's vision for motor sport and mobility in the Middle East region."