Scandal-plagued Max Mosley will not stand again as FIA president and will back Frenchman Jean Todt to succeed him after 16 years in charge of world motorsport.
|Max Mosley will always be remembered for his love of role playing [AFP]
The 69-year-old Mosley announced last month that he wouldn't seek a fifth term after brokering a deal with the Formula One Teams Association to avert a rival series.
However, he then said in a subsequent newspaper interview that he might reconsider that decision.
That reversal led teams to reiterate their push for a breakaway series at last weekend's German Grand Prix.
The Formula One Teams Association refused to comment Wednesday on whether Mosley's decision had averted any more talk of a parallel series.
Mosley said on Wednesday he received "almost 100 messages from FIA member clubs urging me to think again'' but that he felt it was time move on.
"Extremely grateful though I am for all the letters, e-mails and messages I have received, I have decided to reconfirm my decision. I will not be a candidate in October,'' Mosley wrote in a letter to the FIA membership.
Mosley has been the president of the FIA, the international automobile federation which governs Formula One racing, since 1993.
"From a personal point of view, it would be very difficult for me to change my mind and stand again,'' Mosley said. "I began some months ago to rearrange my family life with effect from next October.
"To continue now would greatly complicate my domestic arrangement and be inconsistent with my obligations to my family, particularly after our recent loss. Also, I have felt for some time that I would like to work less. After all, I will be 70 next year.''
Mosley, who lost a son to a drug overdose in May, told former World Rally champion Ari Vatanen, who is the only official candidate for October's election, that he was relieved to stand down.
"I asked him how he was feeling and he said it was like a big weight coming off his shoulders,'' Vatanen said.
"Obviously it's a big decision for him to stand down. FIA has played such a big part in his life.''
Although Mosley's contributions to motor sport have been numerous, most notably improving safety measures to such an extent that no driver has been killed since 1994, his leadership has also come with unwanted baggage.
Mosley, the son of British Union of Fascists party founder Oswald Mosley, survived a confidence vote last year after a British tabloid revealed he had participated in a sadomasochistic sex party with five prostitutes.
Former Ferrari team principal Todt, a close friend of Mosley's, is yet to officially announce his candidacy.
"Jean is unquestionably the outstanding motorsport manager of his generation and arguably of any generation,'' Mosley said.
"If he agrees tostand, I think he would be the ideal person to continue but also to extend the work of the past 16 years. He can be relied on in all areas where the FIA is active. I very much hope you will give him your support.''