Give me the power to change F1, Todt tells teams

FIA president Jean Todt has told Formula 1 teams that if they really want him to stand up and sort out the sport then they should formally hand control over to him.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner echoed recent calls from several outfits that the current inability of teams to agree on positive changes meant the time had come for Todt or Bernie Ecclestone to step up and impose a new way forward.

But Todt is sceptical that teams are really serious about the matter – and has made clear that if they really want him to do something then they should formally sacrifice their right for involvement in the F1 Strategy Group or F1 Commission.

"I would say that for me it is [just] words," said Todt, when asked about Horner's recent comments.

"They are making a big story about the Strategy Group and I have read that quite often it should be FIA or FOM to decide.

"Again I am quite happy to sit with Bernie and to decide what could be good for the sport, but again we need to be sure that it is good for the sport.

"But believe me; those who claim that they should be involved and that it should be FIA and the commercial rights holder to decide, they will be the first to shout and saying 'they are not following the right governance [procedures]. They did not consult us'. So there is a way to do that."

He added: "If they keep saying that it should be us to decide, then I should ask for an official mandate. I will have that in writing. So okay, if they want it, give us an official mandate and then we will see how they react. It is a lot of talking."

Criticism must stop

Todt has said that he is far from impressed with the criticism being levelled at F1 right now from some teams.

He reckons those outfits speaking out would be better off staying silent and focusing on becoming more competitive, than serving to damage the sport.

"In theory you may discourage people to follow the sport, which is no good," he said about the impact of recent criticisms from those involved in F1.

"If people think it is so bad they will not see it. It may discourage sponsors, because if you are a big company and you want to invest in motor sport you will say 'Why should I invest if I hear people are not happy?'

"Then it should discourage potential new comers in Formula One, because if you are a big brand and you want to be involved in motor sport and you're interested in motor sport, but if you see there is this lack of harmony that I was mentioning earlier, then probably you will reconsider investing."

He added: "You take a team like Williams, they were nowhere two years ago and I think they simply decided they were going to reconsider their team and their organisation.

"I don't think they have increased in a crazy way their financial side, they have simply done a better job. Of course money is important, but it's not only a question of money, you have top manufacturers who were in Formula 1 they have the biggest budget and eight or ten years ago they did not win a race.

"That's why they got discouraged and they left.

"Of course if you are not winning and you have invested a lot of money it is discouraging. For me, you either are discouraged or you see what you should we do.

"From my past experience, the people that say it's so boring, I say, 'Guys, you cannot imagine how difficult it is to remain competitive.

"So I say you should admire those that stay competitive, push and motivate those who could be more competitive because that's competition.

"A lot of the discouragement and unhappiness is about, individually, the teams wanting to be more competitive."

 

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news
Tags jean todt