Former World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen has confirmed that he will run for the presidency of the FIA in October's elections.
Following days of speculation about the Finn's future, after revealing earlier this week that he was considering putting himself forward, he announced on Thursday that he has decided to go ahead with his plans.
"Responding to requests from many FIA member clubs, I shall stand for presidential elections of the FIA in October this year," said Vatanen, who was a European MP until earlier this year. "I think the time has come for a change. My main focus is to reconcile views within the FIA and bring transparency to its stakeholders. The duty of president is to defend billions of automobilists and the great sport of ours."
Vatanen's decision to stand as president comes amid continued uncertainty about whether or not current president Max Mosley will stand again. Mosley originally intended to step down at the end of his current term, but his dispute with the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has forced him to reconsider his plans.
FOTA would prefer Mosley to leave, however, and are pushing F1's commercial rights holders CVC to ensure he goes as part of a deal they are putting together to try and secure the future of the sport. Vatanen must now put forward a list of 22 "cabinet" members who would fill certain positions within the FIA structure if he was elected.Related stories:• Vatanen needs "cabinet"• Mosley claims pressure to stand for re-election