Could you run for president of the FIA?

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Image from the article titled Could You Run for the Presidency of the FIA?

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Based on social media comments criticizing the current state of Formula 1, many people confidently believe they could lead the FIA ​​Formula 1 World Championship better than those currently in charge. I will help these people. I’m going to lay out a rough guide to getting yourself in the best position to run the sport from scratch.

The decision-making power over the category is divided equally between the holder of the commercial rights to Formula 1, the teams participating in the championship and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. Two avenues are immediately off the table for most of us. The purchase price of the commercial rights to the sport from Liberty Media would be in the order of several billion dollars. And the registration fee for a new team entering Formula 1 is $ 200 million. The most affordable way to get your hands on the reins is to become president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the sport’s governing body.

I’ll lead with the bad news. The deadline to apply for the next presidential election on December 17 has already passed. The good news is that there are four years to prepare for the next election, enough time to meet all the requirements to become an eligible candidate.

Firstly, there is no minimum age for becoming President of the FIA. However, there is a maximum age limit. The FIA ​​Statutes stipulate that no candidate may be 75 years of age or older on election day. The current FIA president, Jean Todt, is 75 years old and is therefore ineligible to stand for re-election.

Second, FIA presidents are limited to three four-year terms. Jean Todt, the current president of the FIA, is approaching the end of his third term and is again ineligible to stand for re-election. Seriously. Jean Todt, don’t come back. It’s someone else’s turn to be president.

And third, applicants must be members of an FIA member club. Membership is not a high bar. If someone lives in the United States, they can become a member of an FIA member club by being a member of the Sports Car Club of America. $ 85 is currently the annual cost of SCCA membership. The SCCA is associated with the FIA ​​through the United States Automobile Competition Committee (ACCUS). ACCUS is an organization that represents the United States and many of its motorsport organizations to the FIA.

A candidate will also need the support of 18 member clubs to be on the ballot. The FIA ​​has a type for candidates who are elected president. International motorsport descends from the same heritage of the late 19th century European aristocratic amateur sportsman who saw Baron Pierre de Coubertin found the International Olympic Committee and the modern Olympic Games. Seven of the 11 FIA presidents were European aristocrats.

This trend began in 1904 with the first head of the organization, Baron Étienne van Zuylen van Nyevelt. Prince Paul von Metternich was the most recent aristocratic president, elected in 1975 and served until 1985. Metternich had a sporadic sports car career during the 1950s. He competed in the Nürburgring 1000 km, the Thousand Miglia, the Targa Florio, the Carrera Panamericana and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Plus, if his last name sounds familiar to you, he was the great-grandson of early 19th-century Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich.

After Metternich, Formula 1 had a major influence on who held the presidency of the FIA. Jean-Marie Balestre was elected president in 1986 after a long career in the administration of motorsport, from karting to Formula 1. Max Mosley took over from Balestre in 1993 after helping teams take financial control of Formula. 1 alongside Bernie Ecclestone. Jean Todt followed Mosley with his support in 2009 after leading Scuderia Ferrari to eight constructors’ world championships as team manager.

In conclusion, it is not necessarily necessary to be rich to become President of the FIA. However, you may need to be a European aristocrat or gain support from the Formula 1 paddock. Good luck in four years.


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