Jean Todt: A "Poor Man's Max"; A "Joke"?

First it was the Bahrain GP public relations fiasco with Todt's son known to have business interests in that Gulf Kingdom.

Then Ecclestone had a go because of Todt's insistence on changing the engine formula for 2013:
"Jean Todt is a poor man's Max...He has been travelling around the world doing what Max didn't do too much – kissing the babies and shaking the hands...we don't need it in Formula One...(he has) not so much had a positive effect on Formula One."

Then the flip-flop-flop-flip on the Off-Throttle EBD issue at not only mid season...but mid meeting at Silverstone just this past weeked!

What do CTA members make of Todt?

Is Bernie right? Is Todt a 'poor man's' Max and a 'Joke'?
Todt does not have the brain that Mosley, who is a highly intelligent man, has. Where Mosley falls down is that he knows this and has become arrogant whilst not being prepared to take responsibility for the errors this causes.
His rise to power was highly controversial/illegal, with evidence of voting parties being threatened into voting for him and the outgoing president openly backing him. None of which is allowed. When that's how you get in, I din't really care what you do when you're in, just how quickly you can get out.
That Bahrain thing was a complete shambles. The core fans (who hate the circuit anyway), the drivers, the teams, the general public( who buy product en masse)...none of them really wanted Bahrain. Even Bernie had no problem not going to Bahrain...and then Todt tried to stuff the race down everyone's throats at the end of the season pushing races into December (potentially making it into an 11 month season!). Until, of course, Ross Brawn had to put his foot down and tell everyone that human beings work for him.

(We learned later that Nicholas Todt has important businsess interests there. Talk about conflict of interest!)

Todt's trying to force Ferrari's adgenda on in-season testing through...and if Ferrari don't win again this year we'll know who was behind the scenes to destabalize McLaren/RBR (and others, notably Renault) on the OTEBD front, won't we?

That intra-meeting flipping and flopping and to-ing and fro-ing at Silverstone was a complete joke. Unprecidented!

Thankfully Todt has backed down on the new engine regs for 2013. We need to thank the teams for that.

Todt is utterly incompetent and increasingly looking like in the pocket of di Montezemolo. It's where he came from so it's hardly surprising, is it?

I have to say when it comes to the politics of running F1 I kind of doze off and fall asleep. I wouold have said until this weekends law changing fiasco that Todt was doing a steadier job than Mosley was doing.

I mean do you really think Lewis and Max would have exchange nicey nice letters saying 'sorry' and 'we understand but don't do it again' after his Monoco comment? No Max would have had him in a kangaroo court and banned for 5 races at least.

I think his Ferrari connections actually don;t do him any favours when it comes to his public imagine. I'm sure the majority of people who call him things like pathetic etc etc deep down are just upset about things he did at Ferrari.

I would say its too early to pass judgement as of yet - although I'd like to read more about his coming into power after reading EW's post.
I think Bernie having a go at anyone is laughable. You have to grudgingly admire him from a pure business perspective, he's made an absolute fortune, however moving to new countries with characterless circuits and empty stands doesn't seem to be healthy from a sporting perspective.
There is no way in heaven that JT is as bent or corrupt as Max

Max was eased into position by Bernie, he is a smart administrator but he is a proven pervrt and distorted of facts

F1 is the Bernie show, Max knew his place but he did ok because he is an expert at making trains run on time

JT comes at a slightly different angle, still has to be a crawl to Bernie but bidding his time, for Bernie to ridicule him is because he is not jumping as high as Max when the whip appears

Nepotism in sports is not exactly shattering news, Alex Fergusons son does what exactly?

Bernie calls the shots, until he goes there is no point expecting the FIA to display model corporate governance
Far be it for me to leap to Todt's defense but it should be remembered that he is the head of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobiles, a premier governing body of motorsport worldwide and representative body for the majority of road transport organisations across the planet. Whilst we may think that all he does is focus on and command the activities of Formula One this is far from the case. One of his strengths has been to devolve regulation of F1 to the officers of the FIA in their respective responsibilities and this is shown by his apparent absence from the day to day operations.

Further, regardless of how we feel about the EBD debacle the ultimate responsibility for how this has turned out is to do with the scrutineers, stewardship and, ultimately Charlie Whiting's guidance, or perhaps lack of, with respect to the actions or inactions of those officials. In concert with that are the actions of the teams with regard to their exploitation of apparent loopholes in the regulations and their vociferous lobbying of the regulators in order to keep the technology. When you cut through to the detail it is clear that the engineers have been circumventing, at the very least, the spirit of the rules, which is why the teams have had to capitulate to the ruling that was made in the run up to Valencia and revert to the edict laid down with regard to changing engine maps under Parc Ferme conditions.

There has been a lot said about the FIA changing the regulations mid-season. In fact it transpires that the FIA had in fact failed to enforce existing regulations due to that old favourite "lack of clarity". The fact that this became a rather undesirable distraction from what was otherwise an entertaining and eventful weekends racing was unfortunate but nothing like the demoralising and depressing political crapshoots under Mosely. The arguments over the past few weeks have been of a technical nature rather than political so Todt has not been overtly involved, if at all.

In addition to all that I think we should be grateful, also, to the measured and considerably more consistent Stewardship that we have witnessed under Todt's leadership. The Stewards room no longer represents the political arm of a dictatorial presidency and (regardless of how we feel when our favourite driver has been penalised for something) the introduction of an experienced racecar driver has thus far been reasonably successful.

I voted for Ari, by the way, as I perceived Todt to be a Mosley quizzling. Until he does something to upset me, I am happy to say that I was wrong since, to date, he has acted precisely as he said he would ... and again I urge folk's to remember, F1 is only one part of the FIA empire.
Max was a self important parasite (and a pervert as it turned out to be) who thought the show was all about him. I was absolutely delighted when the teams finally united and removed him from power. He did some good things for the sport but managed to erode it all away and it was a measure of how far he'd fallen that even Ferrari decided to desert him. For once in a very long time we are talking about racing again not off the track gutter politics peddled in kangaroo courts. As a fan, what more do you want? Mistakes have been made and issues have surfaced but unlike Max, Todt seems willing to hold up his hands when he gets things wrong. More importantly the main show (i.e. racing) still continues to take centre stage despite the issues and I think the man deserves some credit for this.
I think you need to suspend you're dislike of Ferrari on this issue Ray. I've not seen any evidence of Todt favouring Ferrari at all and any evidence you might produce would pail in comparrison to that under Max's reign
Todt does not have the brain that Mosley, who is a highly intelligent man, has. Where Mosley falls down is that he knows this and has become arrogant whilst not being prepared to take responsibility for the errors this causes.


Whatever one thinks of Todt (as it happens I think on the whole he's been doing a pretty good job actually) to portray him as lacking in intelligence is just about the most ridiculous thing I've read all year. Every team he's ever worked at has gone on to achieve almost uninterrupted periods of success, be it F1, rallying, Paris-Dakar...
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