Jean Todt was elected president of motor racing’s governing body FIA on Friday, beating Finnish candidate Ari Vatanen.
Todt was the big favourite after getting backing from outgoing FIA president Max Mosley and Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.
Todt was elected to a four-year term, beating Vatanen 135-49 in the voting at FIA’s annual general meeting in Paris. The FIA said 12 votes were ruled as invalid or abstentions.
Todt is a former Ferrari team principal who revived the fortunes of the flagging Italian team and led it during seven-time champion Michael Schumacher’s era. He also worked on FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.
“It’s positive, very positive,” said Schumacher, who had openly backed Todt, when leaving the meeting after the vote.
Todt will be seeking to restore stability to a body that has been rocked by a number of scandals in F1 and a highly publicized sex scandal involving Mosley.
Mosley is stepping down after 16 years in charge of the FIA.