Profile of FIA president Jean Todt

Jean Todt achieved great success as a team leader in rally driving and Formula One racing, and his next challenge will be to make his mark as president of motor sport’s governing body.

The 63-year-old Frenchman was elected as the FIA’s new leader on Friday, beating former rally driver Ari Vatanen of Finland 135-49 in the voting.

Todt takes over from Englishman Max Mosley, who steps down after four terms and 16 years in charge.

Born in eastern France in 1946, Todt had minor success as a co-driver in the world rally championship, winning the manufacturers’ title with Peugeot Talbot Sport before retiring from racing in 1981.

Todt then took up a management position, helping to design the 205 Turbo 16 model which won world titles in 1985 and 1986.

Todt’s success at Peugeot extended to endurance racing, and the 905 model won the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1992 and 1993 with Derek Warwick and Mark Blundell among those drivers.

But Todt was frustrated by Peugeot’s refusal to enter the Formula One Championship, and his next career choice would prove even more successful.

He took the opportunity to join Ferrari in 1993, helping to revive its flagging fortunes alongside the Italian team’s president Luca di Montezemolo.

Todt also forged a winning bond with Michael Schumacher, Ferrari’s German driver, who won a record seven world championships – five in a row with Ferrari after winning his first two with Benetton.

Under Todt’s guidance, Ferrari won six straight constructors’ championships from 1999 to 2004.

Todt finally ended his long and fruitful time at Ferrari in March this year.

Todt, who lives in Paris, is engaged to Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, who has starred in films such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Tomorrow Never Dies.”