Formula 1 Insight

A Ready Made Candidate

Whenever a faint chance of Max Mosley ceasing to be president of the FIA occurs, our thoughts turn to his successor. We have all suggested suitable candidates and my favorite for the job is Alex Wurz. But that is wishful thinking as the electorate consists of the delegates to the FIA and they are extremely unlikely to nominate, let alone elect, anyone who is not currently one of their own.

Hobbs and Craw
David Hobbs and Nick Craw

So we can forget about Sir Jackie Stewart, even were he interested, and Ron Dennis is never going to be considered. Jean Todt is equally improbable, as are all those other names that spring to mind. Realistically, we must look inside the FIA if we want to see what the future might hold.

It turns out that there is an eminently suitable candidate waiting in the wings. In November last year, the FIA General Assembly voted in Nick Craw as the Deputy President for Motor Sport and a quick study of his resume reveals him to be just the sort of candidate we are looking for, as well as occupying a position that puts him naturally in line for the presidency.

Nick is the delegate for ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee for the United States) and has a long history in American motor sport and its governing bodies. He is well respected everywhere and was elected unanimously to his present position. Qualified in business, he has been the Director of the US Peace Corps and Executive Director of US Sailing, although he always retained his links to motor sport.

Have a read of Adam Cooper's article on the subject for SpeedTV and the comments and it will become apparent that Nick is an excellent candidate. I particularly like the sound of this comment from Ron Lindensmith:

I raced with Nick and worked with him as anRE in the SCCA. He is a good guy and I like him. And although I think ANYBODY would be better than 'Max the Idiot' I think Nick would be a VERY GOOD choice and it should happen sooner rather than latter!

The fact that Nick is an American delegate is just as important as his impressive credentials. North America has been squeezed from the calendar over the last two years and there is a desperate need for links to be re-established to F1. The American fanbase is small in comparison to NASCAR's but it is still substantial in European terms. We could expect Nick to do everything in his power to effect a return of the sport to the USA and Canada.

Ferrari and FOTA are presently engaged in a struggle that might end Mosley's tenure as FIA President. Even if they lose that battle, the teams should think carefully about the forthcoming election for the post - yes, the election that Max promised not to run for although we all know he will. If Max is ever to be ousted, it will take a strong candidate from within to take him down and it looks as if Nick Craw is the man for the job.

As leader of FOTA, Luca di Montezemolo should be using his considerable political skills to lobby for Nick's election later in the year. That is our best hope for change for the better of the sport.


Nick Goodspeed
I would think, should FOTA gain a foothold, their best bet would be to try to abolish the system of having a president of an organization that may have vested interests elsewhere, having any deciding power over F1 or its replacement series. One person, no matter who he may be, can be cornered more easily than a democratically elected group. If there is one thing that has been learned from Mosley and Ecclestone, it is that total power leads to corruption. There needs to be a group of drivers, engineers, track owners, and manufacturers representatives etc., all with input to issues that arise.
As long as Mosley's crooked electing system is in effect it doesn't matter who becomes president. They will have been chosen by an illegitimate system.
Date Added: 18/05/2009

I agree that the FIA's structure needs re-design, Nick. Unfortunately, Mosley has constructed it in such a way that he is almost unassailable from the outside and so any successful attempt to unseat him must come from the inside. Once a President of goodwill has been elected, he can then attend to re-organising the FIA and appointing the right people to oversee its various branches.

A return to the old system of FISA running F1 while the FIA has oversight of all arms of the governing body would be the first priority. Mosley has spent all his time fiddling with F1 as a result of his combining FISA with the FIA and assuming total control as President. The opportunities for abuse of power are obvious in such a centralised system and it needs to be divided into special interest areas.

I do believe that Nick Craw would be the man to do that.
Date Added: 18/05/2009

Steven Roy
It occurred to me a few days ago that the group which threatened to breakaway from the FIA after the vote of confidence fiasco has not uttered a single word since. To me that means that there are two possibilities. Either they have crawled away with their tails between their legs or they have been planning a campaighn to get their own man elected. I think the latter is the most likely outcome and given that Bernie was on both sides during the ousting of Balestre I would not be surprised to find the same again.

Given that it would be possible for him to trigger this whole nonsense in F1 to drive a wedge between th teams and the FIA to maintain his power.
Date Added: 18/05/2009

I think there is another waiting in the wings. Kim Jong-il would be a great successor to Max although not quite as good a dictator he certainly has a lot of ambition.
Date Added: 19/05/2009

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