In six days, either Graham Stoker or Mohammed Ben Sulayem will be the next President of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. I’ve lost patience waiting for the FIA General Assembly meeting. I just want to know the outcome at this point. I’ve combed every source of information that I could lay my eyes on to pull together some semblance of a vote tally ahead of Friday’s election. I even asked people on Twitter for their opinion. However, the only people who actually matter are the voters, the chief of the federation’s member organizations.
Endorsements are highly sought after and influential in rallying more voters to a candidate’s cause. An example of this was when both candidates were invited to present to Motorsport UK and the Royal Automobile Club. Afterward, Motorsport UK wanted to post each Q&A session online, accessible to anyone to view. Ben Sulayem agreed, but Stoker declined. Both Motorsport UK and the RAC decided to back Ben Sulayem over this as they firmly believed that it is essential to be transparent with the public.
In terms of endorsements and stated voting intentions, Mohammed Ben Sulayem has a clear advantage over Graham Stoker. To simplify estimating voting outcome, I granted a country’s full support to a candidate if a single club endorsed said candidate regardless with the country had multiple clubs within the FIA or not. Thirty-five countries currently support Ben Sulayem, and 25 countries support Stoker. The 60 countries that have openly declared their voting intentions represent 41% of the full 146-country membership.
Countries in support of Stoker (25):
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Dominican Republic
Graham Stoker’s base is strongest in Europe, centered around key endorsements in France, Germany, and Italy.
Countries in support of Ben Sulayem (35):
- Costa Rica
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
Mohammed Ben Sulayem is the clear favorite in Sub-Saharan Africa and his home region of the Middle East and North Africa. I can’t guarantee that he will win Friday’s election, but he’s the current favorite.