Jean Todt insists the FIA cannot guarantee historic Spa-Francorchamps' place on the annual Formula One calendar. The much-loved Belgian venue is struggling with profits and facing down Bernie Ecclestone's threat that one or two European races...
Jean Todt insists the FIA cannot guarantee historic Spa-Francorchamps' place on the annual Formula One calendar.
The much-loved Belgian venue is struggling with profits and facing down Bernie Ecclestone's threat that one or two European races will need to be scrapped to make room for incoming events in the US and Russia.
F1's governing body once insisted that certain events should be safeguarded by the FIA.
But on a visit to the new Korean circuit, Jean Todt told the Flemish daily De Standaard: "The world and the economy is constantly changing.
"So we have to be careful. In Belgium, the problem is less a sporting one, and more one of government.
"We hope the Belgian Grand Prix will be on the calendar for a long time, because it is a fantastic circuit. But when the money runs out, there is a problem," added the Frenchman.
FIA president Todt also spoke about France's chances of returning to F1 in the near future.
"I am French but I am not responsible for putting a Grand Prix in France," he is quoted by L'Equipe.
"It is about the country, the national federation, the promoter, and Bernie Ecclestone's FOM.
"When these things come together, the FIA - as legislator - has the responsibility to endorse the circuit. But we are not involved in the (other) process.
"If you think France should have a Grand Prix, I think so too. But, unfortunately, not everything is in place to allow this," added Todt.
He also dismissed as "speculation" reports that his authority at the FIA is set to be challenged by a coup headed by Max Mosley and Ecclestone.
"We are serious people," said Todt. "I have known Max for many years and I would never have been a candidate if he had wanted to stay.
"He clearly said that it was time for him to step away. I have a very good relationship with Max, but he is very busy with his own affairs," he added.