Jean Todt is reportedly "almost at war with Bernie Ecclestone" and his FIA leadership looks set to be challenged by a former key figure under Max Mosley.
Motorsport's governing body is due to hold its presidential elections in autumn this year and it was initially understood that Frenchman Todt, who took over from Mosley in 2009, would run unopposed for a second term.
However, David Ward has now emerged as a possible opponent with The Times reporting he is being pushed to run in the elections as several Formula One role players are not happy with Todt's presidency.
Ward, the director-general of FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, was the right-hand man for Mosley and has the backing of quite a few important Formula One figures, something which has reportedly not gone down well with Todt.
The Times claims 'Todt is known to have confronted Ward after hearing repeated suggestions that senior figures in F1 and motor racing favour the Englishman to take over'.
The paper adds: 'Even though he is the former sporting director of Ferrari, Todt is widely disliked in F1 and is thought to be almost at war with Bernie Ecclestone, the sport's chief executive.'
Ward himself though is not yet certain if he will run for FIA president.
"This is not what I intended nor what I wanted, but I am certainly thinking about [standing] because it is important to have a debate," he said. "You can only have a debate if there is a choice of candidates and there is no debate if there is no choice."
He will need the support from at least 26 motoring clubs from around the world if he is to run in the presidential election.