Jean Todt could face a challenge for his likely bid for a second term as FIA president from one of predecessor Max Mosley's key aides.
David Ward, who has been boss of the FIA Foundation road safety organization since 2011, has revealed that he is considering standing for the presidency of motorsport's governing body at the end of this year.
Ward, a former member of the British government, said he is contemplating a bid in order to offer Todt detractors a choice of candidates.
"This is not what I intended nor what I wanted, but I am certainly thinking about [standing] because it is important to have a debate," he told The Times. "You can only have a debate if there is a choice of candidates, and there is no debate if there is no choice."
Ward joined the FIA as director general of the FIA European Bureau in Brussels, and has worked with the British government and European Parliament on behalf of the FIA. He would need to secure the support of a minimum number of national organizations to confirm his candidacy, but could find backing for his bid from FIA-affiliated organisations not directly involved in motorsport.
Todt, now approaching the end of his four-year reign at the top, expects to stand for a second term but has not yet formally confirmed his plans. His premiership has been divisive, particularly over issues of rising organizational costs and his ordering of the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix to go ahead against a backdrop of political upheaval and unrest.
It will be a crucial election for both F1 and the FIA, with several critical decisions still outstanding. F1 commercial chieftain Bernie Ecclestone has still not concluded the tripartite "Concorde Agreement" which defines the commercial relationship of the teams, the FIA and F1 owners CVC Capital; there is still no tire contact in place for next year; and mooted cost-cutting initiatives remain a bone of contention among all parties. Ecclestone has also been formally indicted over his role in the sale of F1 to CVC, which could impact upon his control of the sport.
This year's general assembly will meet on Dec. 6.