Max Mosley may not be clinging to the FIA presidency but simply preparing the ground for the entrance of his preferred successor.

That is the claim of the British newspaper Sunday Times, which quoted an unnamed FOTA insider as hinting that former Ferrari boss Jean Todt is indeed the leading candidate.

"Mosley wants someone to continue his work. Someone that can be manipulated by him -- and we all know who that is," the team source said.

The newspaper said the teams believe Mosley's endorsement of Frenchman Todt explains the new tensions in the wake of last Wednesday's peace accord.

FOTA vice-chairman John Howett's comments after Wednesday enraged Mosley and seemed to confirm the view that Todt would be almost as unpopular as FIA president than Mosley himself.

The Toyota team president had said: "From the teams' point of view, we would like to see someone who actually is independent, perhaps independent from any of us currently or historically."

Todt until recently sat on the FIA's World Motor Sport Council, and now works with the federation as president of the safety technologies organisation eSafetyAware.

Further evidence of Mosley's link with Todt is that the Frenchman and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo - Mosley's newest adversary - are rumoured to have fallen out as Todt split with Ferrari earlier this year.


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