The Todt Vote IV (Poll)

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Jean Todt accompanied by F1 drivers and former champions in Bahrain

Once a month we take a look at how FIA president Jean Todt is managing Formula 1 and ask whether the sport is going in the right direction on his watch.

Join in the debate and cast your vote below.

FIA developments since the last approval rating

The 13th team

US F1 failed to get their team ready in time for the start of the season and the FIA has announced it will consider taking action against them over the no-show.

Stefan GP’s pleas to be granted US F1’s place on the grid this year fell on deaf ears. Instead the FIA has opened applications for a 13th team to join next year. It will also appoint another team as a reserve entry, in case one of the current teams pulls out.

But could more have been done to ensure a 13-team grid this year?

Commission appointments

Several major commission appointments were announced including Michael Schumacher joining the Circuits’ Commission as the drivers’ representative.

Alan Donnelly has joined the Manufacturers’ Commission. But Todt has yet to fill the post of F1 Commissioner, a post he promised to create after his election.

World Motor Sports Council changes

In a significant move the FIA President no longer plays a role in World Motor Sports Council decisions. This has been a major bone of contention in recent years particularly during the spying row in 2007 and Singapore Grand Prix investigation last year.

The FIA president is still responsible for running the WMSC’s inquiries and deciding what cases should go before the WMSC.

Stewarding changes

Todt’s changes to F1 stewarding have been put into practice with several high-profile former and current drivers joining the stewards during Grand Prix weekends. So far these have included Alain Prost in Bahrain, Tom Kristensen in Australia, and Johnny Herbert at this weekend’s round in Malaysia.

They have not had any major controversies to rule on yet, with the most significant decision taken so far being Mark Webber’s reprimand for crashing into Lewis Hamilton during the Australian Grand Prix.


F1 faced a backlash after a dull season-opener at Bahrain. This came after Todt had specifically asked the teams to propose measures to “improve the show” this year, which led to the introduction of the rule forcing drivers who qualifying in the top ten to start the race on their qualifying tyres, and the tweaking of the new points system.

The FIA has not announced any further changes for the future other than the banning of double diffusers in 2011.

Calendar expansion

There could be as many as 20 races on the F1 calendar this year as the FIA has confirmed the Indian Grand Prix will be held in 2011.

Jean Todt’s Approval Rating

As an F1 fan, do you approve or disapprove of the way Jean Todt is handling his job as FIA President?

  • No opinion (23%)
  • Disapprove (14%)
  • Approve (63%)

Total Voters: 880

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Jean Todt’s Approval Rating so far

Date Approve Disapprove No opinion
March 2010 53% 24% 23%
February 2010 57% 14% 29%
January 2010 55% 16% 29%

Jean Todt’s Approval Rating

Image (C) Bridgestone

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “The Todt Vote IV (Poll)”

  1. I dont see anything bad for him

  2. I like the way he runs things, and i think if anyone can be objective in this task (having worked for one of the teams) it is him…

    he’s a guy that knows how to select good people around him so that they complement his management expertise…

  3. Too early to tell yet. We (unfortunately) need a couple of big incidents to see what he’s made of.

    1. Agreed, i think his first true test will be the 2011 entry list.

  4. Keith,
    A few sentences don’t make sense:

    Stefan GP’s please to be granted US F1’s place…
    The pleas of Stefan GP to be granted US F1’s place…

    They have had any major controversies to rule….
    They have not had any major controversies to rule….

    Back to subject. I cannot say I have seen enough to vote one way or the other yet.

    1. Both fixed, ta.

      1. There is also “forcing drivers who qualifying in the top ten…”
        Don’t need the -ing.

        I voted approve, but just as others have said, I don’t know if I’ve seen enough for to be 100% sure.

        1. My apologies, I read that sentence wrong, it is structured fine.

  5. I still approve. The way the Stefan GP issue was handled impressed me, and the decision to have former drivers act as stewards at Grands Prix will lead to greater consitency when decisions have to be made. The adition of the Indian Grand Prix is a plus in my book too.

    I’ve approved two months in a row, wow, what is happening to me! ;)

  6. I don’t think I disapprove of anything mentioned in the article, although I think the appointments of Michael Schumacher and Alan Donnelly may loose him some votes this month.

    I didn’t like the way he and his girlfriend were in the photo of all the former champions at Bahrain but that isn’t enough to mark him down.

    1. NomadIndian
      1st April 2010, 12:53

      Same here PJA. It was not cool to have his GF present at what was specifically a moment for the past and present champs!

  7. Where can we apply for the job of F1 Commissioner?
    I think I have all the right qualities to be of great value to the sport.
    So I will probably vote Approve just to be on the safe sight for future reference. Todt is watching us.

  8. I like him, at least compared to Mosley, he seems impartial, and it does look as though he takes time to make decisions, I think Max could be too gung ho sometimes.

    He hasn’t done anything drastically wrong, I mean, I hate the qually tyre rule, But that’s not necessarily wrong, It’s just that I don’t agree.

    On the other hand he saw through things like having ex-racers as stewards. This isn’t because I agree with it, although I do, but because there was a problem, (suspect stewarding decisions) and he actually did something to fix it. Not only that, but he did something to increase fairness, something Mosley wasn’t (isn’t) known for, and also it was something that could potentially engage the fans by having someone they can see and (imagine they) relate to, rather than white cloaked scientist kind of guys, which is rather how it felt at some particular moments.

  9. the Sri Lankan
    1st April 2010, 9:48

    i dont like the way that the stefan GP situation was handled

    1. My heart agrees with you, but he followed the rules when the decision was made, no fuss, no controversy, He did the right thing.

      1. That’s my view too. I was all for Stefan GP getting onto the grid, but there was no justification for them getting the place.

  10. I was impressed by 2 issues

    The Stefan GP issue and stewarding issue.

    Stewarding was one area which needed a lot of changes. And Australia was a fine example.

    I vote APPROVE

  11. i have approved jean, he has been good especially in his work to expand the calendar and also the use of former race drivers in F1 races.

  12. Its really too early to say but looks like he is trying. Puzzzled about why his girlfriend is in all of those group pictures!!

  13. Its a marked contrast to the Mosely era (particularly in recent years). Despite the backlash against Formula 1 being branded ‘boring’, nothing has been heard from Todt, the FIA, or even Bernie for that matter. And I think thats a good thing. I think the previous era would probably have overreacted to the situation, have tried to make wholesale changes to the sport and in the process would probably have put the new teams (specifically HRT) out of business.

    So far all the moves he has made have been considered and appropiate. I hope it stays that way.

    1. Ecclestone has been in the news a lot really: He claimed Hamilton shouldn’t get a manager, that we need a GP “in” New York (which should be driven in New Yersey 30 miles away), he blames USF1 for StefanGP not being on the grid, the new teams are too poor, a GP in Rome 2013

      In an effort to fix the overtaking problems he again propsed his “shortcut” idea, but suggests we wait a few races before we evaluate (which in fact is the only thing he said that actually made sense).

  14. After Mosley, Todt’s an angel so far.
    It’s refreshing not to have Max’s limelight meddling this season. Can you imagine all the blabbering (and probably crap rules) Mosley would have done/introduced so far regarding USF1, Stefan, Campos, HRT, Slow teams, McLaren F-Duct, enlarged Engine starter holes, poor race at Bahrain etc it would have been one BS statement after another from Mosley.

  15. Magnificent Geoffrey
    1st April 2010, 11:18

    I really WANT to disapprove of Todt – him being the former Team Principle of Ferrari and all – but I have no reason to complain about anything he’s done or said at the moment. The Q3 rule is the only thing I’d say I don’t agree with, but then I’m not sure that Jean is even fully responsible for that rule being implemented in the first place.

    That being said though, I still think it’s a little too early to really gauge Todt’s performance as Max’s successor objectively – maybe later on in the year, perhaps.

    1. Tralfamadore
      1st April 2010, 22:05

      I am also quite suspicious of Todt, in his Ferrari days he used to hold a massive grudge against Alonso, and in fact he is quoted as having said (in June 2007) that Alonso’s chances to be hired by Ferrari were 0% as long as he was calling the shots there. However I have no complaints against him so far.

      I am not quite sure about the reason why. Maybe it is that when Alonso was still in Minardi he was offered a test pilot position in Ferrari by Todt but he chose to race with Renault instead. Probably the bad blood between Todt and Briatore didn’t help, or the fact that Alonso soundly beat the Ferraris in the 2005 season. If anybody knows anything else about this I would love to know.

    2. Agreed – I have been pleasantly surprised so far by Todt, and have seen no evidence of Ferrari bias so far – or anything that implies he is not impartial. So he got another approve this time around.

  16. Did you mean ‘banning double diffusers for 2011’ rather than 2010? :)

    1. I did – changed it!

  17. I think the best thing is that we can’t really see his influence. It’s not like Mosley who HAD to put his fingerprint on everything.

    He lets the stewards do their thing, doesn’t interfere when teams behave like hooligans on their website. Just let things sort themselves out.

  18. I approve – FiA just kicked sidepod mounted mirrors into touch as of China – bravo! They have listened to conerns from media and drivers alike, noted the Australian GP (Alonso anyone?) and taken decisive and sensible action. Mirrors are a necessary safety device, not an aero opportunity.

  19. I like the way Todt handled Stefan GP. Yes they could have completed this season but there was no evidence that they would be able to build a car for 2011 and beyond.

    I would rather wait a year and have a 13th team that wil be genuinely competitive, such as Lola, Prodrive or Epsilon. I also get the feeling that under Todt we are more likely to have the decision made for the right reasons rather than political reasons.

  20. I like the fact he doesn'[t have an opinion on everything. He seems to be letting the sport run itself and only intervening as necessary. Very sensible decisoon with the 13th team as well, as much as we all would have liked to have seen stefan gp.

  21. ‘banning of double diffusers in 2010.’
    2011 of course!

    I didn’t even know what todt has done so far, which is a good thing i suppose.

    1. If he is unvisible thats good. Not like old Mosley

  22. Last month I voted ”no opinion” but this month I change it to ”approve” because of how Stefan situation was handled and because I think former drivers as stewards are great idea.

  23. Voted approve.
    I approve of every category on there bar the “boring” one as I’m not sold on the quali tyre rule.

  24. Andrew White
    1st April 2010, 14:33

    I voted approve this time.

    I think USF1’s situation was not Todt’s fault (Mosley let them in) and not letting Stefan in, while annoying at the time, was probably the right decision.

    He also rode the media storm after Bahrain and did not introduce any mickey-mouse, knee-jerk rules, which I think Mosley may have done.

    The WMSC and stewarding changes are also an improvement. No steward intervention in any of the racing incidents at Australia was refreshing. A reprimand for Webber was the right decision IMO.

    1. It said my comment was too short. So much for brevity being the soul of wit.

      Now, on to the original comment>>>>>>>>

      Totally agree.

  25. I Voted no opinion this time, simply because while I think he’s been good at nearly everything the quali tyre rule, something it wouldn’t cost a thing or hurt anyone to get rid of, which ruins strategy an racing in the dry is still there.

    Get shot of it, an i’ll start approving again.

  26. Generally approve.

    I like how he’s distanced himself from the WMSC (though not enough for my liking) and put drivers in with the stewards. But I don’t think the new “improve the show” gimmicks have worked, and the leftover two-compound rule is counter-productive in its current form, and doesn’t go far enough, if we’re going to have it at all. I also don’t like the new points system, though it is rewarding a win well.

    1. Oh, and on the DDDs: I don’t approve of them going. Contrary to opinion (including my own a while back), they don’t make things worse for following a car. I think they’re just being banned to reduce cornering speeds, something the FIA has always been obsessed about, and in the name of cost-cutting. If we had DDDs and not much else then that would be better!

  27. This time around, i voted for approve. The changes made in governance (drivers join stewarding and WMSC procedure) are great steps towards fair trial and logical and predictable judgement.

    I am glad not to have heard any comments, nor knee jerk actions from him after Bahrain.
    The FIA are the rule makers, let the promotor and the participants have ideas to improve the racing and the show for the viewers, then the FIA can decide based on having even competition, safety and with an eye on cost and efficiency.

    The girlfriend between the world champions was a bad idea.

  28. Yeah, agree with others about Todt keeping a low profile.
    Also he hasn’t made any decisions that I dislike – Yet.

  29. I am not approving until the supremely stupid tyre change rules are withdrawn

  30. Seems to be doing sensible things so far and not on some kind of power trip.

  31. As we can see with picture above, Todt is more occupied with getting his girlfriend into the picture with people who are far more talented than herself. Her being in the picture I think is disrespectful and something which Michelle Yeoh herself should have realised and taken herself out of it. Is this what Todt may represent?

    I wonder what attracted her to the millionaire Jean Todt?

    That, and the Ferrari eagerness that everyone knew he has may be an eventual conflict with some problem arising in the future regarding his tenure as FIA president.

    As has been asked before: how can we be sure that he will direct the FIA and F1 towards a better type of motorsport without cutting the heart out of what real racing and motorsport should represent: racing, competition and the fans. With his Ferrari background, will a situation arise where he may be going against the red team’s wishes? And if so, how can we be sure that the situation be handled correctly or if required, for Todt to remain neutral? Is he capable of doing that when the future of Ferrari is involved?

    So far, it doesn’t look good. I just hope we’re not on a downward spiral, and in addition, I think Ari Vatanen shoud have been given more consideration, as Todt’s approval seemed far too quick, and Vatanen may have been a better long-term choice.

    1. So, you are saying that the very fact that nothing terrible has happened should make us worry ???

      Or are you saying that Todt should meet with disapproval for what he might do ?

      Either way, I disagree with your position.

  32. Mark Hitchcock
    2nd April 2010, 2:46

    Finally gone from “No Opinion” to “Approve”.
    There hasn’t really been anything significant that’s changed my mind…apart from the fact that Jean Todt’s name has barely been in the news.
    I’m sure that if Mosley was still in power he would have had something stupid and inflammatory to say about the F-Duct, or Stefan GP, or USF1, or any of the other issues that have come up so far this year. Todt is doing what he should be doing; making decisions, not giving his opinion.

    But as others have said, we may not really know where Todt stands until we have a major controversy.
    Having said that, the F-Duct could have been more of a controversy in past years so maybe we’ve seen (or rather HAVEN’T seen) Todt’s hand at work in keeping everything running smoothly and free of drama. The mirrors moving is another thing that appears to have gone smoothly and happened without a fuss.

  33. As we can see with picture above, Todt is more occupied with getting his girlfriend into the picture with people who are far more talented than herself. Her being in the picture I think is disrespectful and something which Michelle Yeoh herself should have realised and taken herself out of it. Is this what Todt may represent?

    Actually, if you read the banner, you’ll see that particular photo op was to promote the FiA Foundation ‘Make Roads Safer’ campaign.

    Jean Todt is FiA President, so his prescence is quite proper. Michele Yeoh is a spokesperson for the Foundation, thereby granting her a spot in the photo. There was nothing disrespectful or improper with either of them being there.

    1. The photo in the article may have been for the ‘Make Roads Safer’ campaign, but Todt and Yeoh were also in the photo of former World Champions along with Ecclestone.

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