Jean Todt and Team, the catchily named management group assembled by Jean Todt for his run at the FIA presidency in October, has just issued a policy document outlining changes it would make to the way the FIA does things.
The most striking thing is that Todt wants to distance himself from direct involvement in Formula 1, by the introduction of a Commissioner for each of the FIA’s world championships. This commissioner would take care of the day to day management of the championship, liaise with the commercial rights holder and teams and sit on the world council.
Max Mosley also said that he would not be an ever present in F1 when he took over from the ever present Jean Marie Balestre in 1990, but latterly his hands were very firmly on the F1 tiller.
However Todt’s proposals for F1 seem quite sensible, with a Disciplinary panel replacing the World Motor Sports Council when it comes to hearings like the McLaren Spy case or the Hamilton lying to the Stewards case.
The World Council would continue to meet to vote through major changes, but even there Todt’s team proposes to conduct a root and branch review of the effectiveness, transparency and efficiency of all the FIA’s committees and Councils. As always the devil will be in the details, such as the make up and independence of the Disciplinary Panel and the Appeal Court.
Without criticising the current regime he says that “public and competitor confidence in the stewards is vital” and proposes to review the stewarding system and to establish training courses for people wishing to become stewards.
Todt also wants to drive costs down in motorsport generally and suggests making it cheaper for organisers to host races, promising a “review of the structure of calendar fees”. If that means what it appears to mean it will be very interesting to see how that plays out in F1.
The document is careful to push all the right buttons with FIA constituents and to calm some concerns particularly among F1 teams and promoters. It wants the FIA to display “greater transparency and communication” and says that “the FIA must continue to adapt and change”. There is a need to “reform our organisation and improve the governance system.”
Todt sums up his approach to his candidacy thus, “Above all we need team work and co-operation. The FIA is a highly complex organisation combining roles as both the world’s motor sport governing body and global mobility alliance. To realise its full potential it is clear to us that the FIA must work together as a team, with its leadership and World Councils collaborating closely with its secretariat, its global club membership and its sister organisations.”
It is widely seen in F1 circles as a certainty that Todt will win in October. In Budapest last week everyone was agreed that Ari Vatenen had played a bad hand and was being totally out-thought and outclassed by Todt and his team.