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Jean Todt sets out his stall for re-election
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Jean Todt
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Oct 2013   |  11:37 am GMT  |  10 comments

FIA president Jean Todt this week set out his agenda for a second term in office, with the launch of his new website Jean Todt and Team.

Todt’s challenge is to demonstrate what has been achieved in his four years at the helm of the FIA and to get the electorate, which comprises sporting and mobility clubs around the world, to consider him a safe pair of hands which is on a pathway of modernisation of the institution. Much of what has been achieved is outside the world of F1 and of the leading FIA championships.

The website says, “Jean Todt and his team drew up an ambitious set of goals – a Road Map to Renewal. Targeting efficiency, transparency and regeneration, this programme has rejuvenated the federation, forging an FIA that is progressive, inclusive and which operates according to the highest standards of good governance.

“With a first term now complete the desire of the Jean Todt and his team to continue the work begun in 2009 is unwavering… the road map has been fulfilled and significant milestones have been reached. But with more to be done the journey is far from over.”

Todt received an important vote of confidence from the leading team principals in a press conference in Monza. Team sources suggest that this was more because they are suspicious that Todt’s rival David Ward is backed by former president Max Mosley, rather than because they were impressed by Todt’s work in F1. There is great frustration that he did not stand up to Red Bull in particular on cost control last year, when 10 of the then 12 F1 teams were agreed on a proposal.

One notable achievement in the F1 arena has been the establishment of the International Tribunal, an independent tribunal for hearing sporting cases like the Mercedes/Pirelli test issue. Another is the successful negotiation of a new eight year deal with Bernie Ecclestone which gives the FIA vital income of $25 million per season from FOM and paves the way for a new Concorde Agreement, which will stabilise the sport until 2020,

“In negotiating a new Formula One Concorde Agreement, the implementation agreement of which is now in operation, the FIA has taken a major step towards a secure future based on a much improved position in motor sport’s flagship championship,” says the website. “The new Concorde Agreement sets out a stable operating relationship with the sport’s commercial rights holder and its participating teams until 2020, with an option to for extension.”

Todt’s website claims that “The FIA now has a governance structure acknowledged to be best practice. This has been confirmed by the federation gaining full membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and of SportAccord” But this is challenged by his presidential rival, who has several specific arguments which he believes illustrate that the governance structure is “not fit for purpose”. And this will be the key battle ground ahead of the election.

Ward has some serious support and some awkward questions he wants answering about governance ahead of the election. He has referred letters of support Todt received from clubs in South America earlier this year to the recently formed FIA Ethics Committee and it will be interesting to see what happens with that process as Ward points out that the Committee’s remit is simply to report its findings to the president.

The election will take place on December 6th in Paris.

Todt's team: (LtoR) Nick Craw, Graham Stoker, Jean Todt, Brian Gibbons

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10 Comments
  1. Richard says:

    James, an insight of these people (the FIA presidents and his people) would be nice, because we know they’re there, but we have no idea what they are doing.

    1. Random 79 says:

      That’s okay, I’m not entirely convinced they know what they’re doing either…

      1. Sebee says:

        They are working to preserve their positions.

        As I’ve grown older I’ve come to believe that no elected individual should hold the post longer than one term. There should be no re-election, agenda, power grab, solidifying position and contacts while in office. Come in, do the work you want to do, do it well, and do it quickly in 1 term because you won’t get another. And your buddies will be out soon too, so in one term your contacts are irrelevant.

        If all elected positions ran that way, I think we may end up with better leadership overall everywhere.

      2. Pete_from_Nepal says:

        If there were no reelection, perhaps once Jean Todt was elected, he would do whatever he wanted, since he didnt have to seek re-election. just a thought…

      3. John in SD says:

        Hi Sebee,

        Agree with term limits, but would suggest a two-term limit to permit the incumbent to complete their agenda, which may take more than a term to implement. Also staggered, limited terms for council members in the interests of continuity. There should also be a mechanism for impeachment or recall to permit the replacement of elected officials, who are definitely derelict or negligent in their duties.

      4. Tim says:

        Good suggestion (one term only) – the snag, as I see it, is the elected officials would be the ones needed to make that happen. A bit like turkeys voting for Christmas :-)

  2. Spyros says:

    Has Todt’s opponent made any meaningful comments regarding cost control in F1?

    Say what you will about Mosley, but at least he could (and more importantly, WOULD) force a change through, when the teams were falling over themselves, complaining that someone else would benefit more from a change… I’m thinking of tyres here, in particular.

    Of course this doesn’t change everything else that Mosley did, and it doesn’t mean that someone that allegedly has his support, would use the same approach… Todt too had Mosley’s support, remember…

  3. Oz Geeza says:

    Mr Todt as a CEO of FAI has been failure
    thus far and should not seek the re-elction.
    He fail to make a decission to blatant
    infrigement by Mercedes racing, instead he
    refeered to a world council.
    Allowed the change of it compound in tyers in
    mid term is disgracefull just to apease one
    or two teams,and the law makers of FAI should
    have been taken to civil court over it.
    Plus many more infrigements have accrured
    under his leadership.
    Is Mr Todt fit and proper person to seek
    re-election one doubt very much.

    1. musshan says:

      from sporting point of view +1 your comment

  4. Steven Boyd says:

    He needs to go due to lack of visibility and leadership:

    1) Invisible for Bahrain issue, over multiple years
    2) Pass the buck on Mercedes issue
    3) Roll over to Red Bull (cost control; floor holes, flexi-wings
    4) Presiding over the erosion of F1 (KERS, DRS – this is not F1, some other racing series…)
    5) Survival of teams seemingly unimportant – so another Pay Driver era at its height (Maldonado over Hulkenberg)
    6) FIA safety program is window dressing – Today’s headline concerning Villota highlights this

    Someone highlight a scenario where he showed leadership during this term – even Mosley had more sway than Todt during his term, having to point out illegalities to the FIA through the press!

    How can the new candidate do any worse? Fresh blood please.

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