John Howett lined up as potential FOTA figure image

(Inautonews.com/GMM) John Howett has emerged as a surprise candidate for a leading role at the formula one teams association FOTA.

The Briton was president of Toyota’s F1 team, and the deputy chairman of the teams alliance, until the Japanese manufacturer quit the sport at the end of 2009.

When Howett left F1 and the role, FOTA praised his “great passion” and fundamental contribution”, and he was credited for playing a leading hand in the heated political machinations of the time and the threatened breakaway split.

Internet reports by Germany’s motorsport-total.com, the Dutch portal f1today.nl and Hungary’s formula.hu say Howett is in line for the role as secretary general, currently occupied by Simone Perillo.

McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh and Renault’s Eric Boullier are the FOTA chairmen.

Howett’s appointment would be timely, with the teams set to negotiate a new Concorde Agreement with the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

But despite further talk of a potential sale of the sport’s commercial rights by CVC, the F1 chief executive has played down the importance of the forthcoming period.

“The bottom line is simple,” Ecclestone told the International Herald Tribune. “If there is no Concorde Agreement it doesn’t make that much difference.

“All the agreement is really is us telling the people (teams) what we are going to pay them. If there was no Concorde Agreement, same thing, we would run the championship and we would pay the people probably a lot less than they get now,” he added.