Todt to seek re-election as FIA president

Alan Baldwin

By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Jean Todt announced on Saturday he will seek a second term as head of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), motorsport's world governing body.

"There is no speculation: I will go for it," the Frenchman told reporters at the Italian Grand Prix.

"Yesterday it was announced that campaigning for election was opening. All our community knows and I have a lot of support," added the former Ferrari team principal who was first elected in 2009.

Todt faces a strong challenge from former FIA foundation head David Ward, a Briton and former adviser to ex-president Max Mosley, in the December vote in Paris.

"In life you must respect freedom of everyone. So I really do respect him," the Frenchman said of his rival.

Ward issued his election manifesto on Friday and wrote to all FIA member clubs seeking the necessary nomination and calling for better governance and limiting the term in office.

Formula One team principals, some of them former colleagues of Todt when he was running the Ferrari team, were predictable in their responses when asked to assess a vote that could have a big impact on the sport.

"Obviously I know Jean very well, having worked together for 10 years," said Mercedes principal Ross Brawn, a former Ferrari technical director.

"I think stability and consistency are very important...I think the opportunity to do another period as a president of the FIA is important, that we have that continuity."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Stephen Wood)