FIA presidential candidate Ari Vatanen believes that the Formula 1 Team's Association (FOTA) can make a major contribution to the development of the sport, after meeting with the body at Spa yesterday.
The former World Rally Champion was given the opportunity to address the teams' body on his vision for the way that the sport will be governed in the future and hear what the competitors had to say. Rival candidate Jean Todt will have the same chance at next month's Singapore Grand Prix.
The Finn believes that the body can work with an FIA under his presidency -- if he was to win the election on October 23 -- to fulfil the true potential of F1.
"There is so much untapped potential in the sport, but we can realize. The people in FOTA are the ones that know what the sport and the business is about. The fact is that the sport has not been run as they would like over the years and they have realised that they can work together and with the FIA in the common interest.
"They have lived in fear without knowing what the future holds, and that's no way to run a sport. I can't see why different members of the same family cannot work together without one side or another wanting to dominate the other."
Vatanen emphasized that only through cooperation between the stakeholders in F1 can the sport be guaranteed long-term stability.
The prospects for a FOTA-run breakaway were only ended before the European Grand Prix when the unified Concorde Agreement was signed, and Vatanen sees cooperation between the teams and the FIA as vital for the long-term stability of the sport, even beyond the end of the new Concorde in 2012.
"My message is that it doesn't take away anyone's independence to work together," said Vatanen. "It's in everyone's interest that the competitors prosper and remain in the FIA championship.
"Our role is to give them a platform to perform. It's in the interest of everyone to make sure that this platform is as solid as possible and that there are as many competitors as possible."