The heat is on as former Ferrari chief executive Jean Todt has reportedly confirmed his candidacy for FIA president. The Frenchman has been touted as a potential head of the international motorsport governing body and automobile federation for years, with rumors intensifying following his resignation from the top spot at Ferrari over a year ago. However, reports now indicate that the renowned racing strategist will stand for the office to replace the departing Max Mosley.

Todt has a wealth of experience in a variety of motorsport disciplines. After a brief career as a rally co-pilot, Todt went on to head up Peugeot's racing program, bringing the French automaker titles at Le Mans, Dakar and the World Rally Championship. He then went on to head the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, orchestrating an unprecedented winning streak together with Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn. Todt was eventually named chief executive of the entire Ferrari operation, a post from which he stepped down last year, while retaining certain influential positions for Ferrari including his seat on the FIA World Motorsport Council.

The son of a Holocaust survivor, Todt's family history appears at odds with Mosley's, to say nothing of Bernie Ecclestone's recent comments. But that didn't stop Mosley from endorsing Todt (or Todt from accepting Mosley's endorsement) as his successor when he finally announcing his intention yesterday not to seek re-election this coming October.

Todt has already assembled part of his 22-member slate, including New Zealand's Brian Gibbons and Britain's Graham Stoker as vice-presidents and American Nick Shaw, current FIA deputy president, to preside over the FIA Senate. He'll be running against Ari Vatanen, a former Dakar and World Rally Champion and current member of the European Parliament.

[Source: BBC | Image: Clive Mason/Getty]