Jean Todt to stand for re-election

MONZA, Italy -- International Automobile Federation president Jean Todt confirmed Sunday that he will stand for re-election later this year.

"There is no speculation, I will go for it," Todt said ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

Todt, who has been the FIA president since 2009, faces strong competition from David Ward, a former adviser to ex-president Max Mosley.

Asked about his rival, Todt said "in life you must respect freedom of everyone. So I really do respect him."

Ward, who recently resigned from his longstanding position as director general of the FIA foundation, published a manifesto Friday, calling for a range of reforms at motorsports' governing body and saying that Todt has "fallen short" on what he proposed four years ago.

"All our community knows that I have a lot of support, and we have started something," Todt said. "It is like climbing a mountain. We try to climb up and up, but we are at 3000m [meters]. So there is still some way to go."

Todt has been given the backing of several F1 team bosses, who praised the FIA chief at a news conference in Monza on Friday.

"I must say I was very pleased to see some comments by the team principals," Todt said. "I have been reading in the press that the F1 community hated me, so if sometimes I feel a bit frustrated it is to read things which are not corresponding to the reality.

"Sometimes I do mistakes, but I am a human being, and hopefully I do sometimes good things. It is not in my nature to have a very high profile, to be a dictator. For me with harmony and consensus you get much better. It is my way of running, of leading."

The election takes place at the beginning of December, in Paris.