Jean Todt’s Approval Rating VI

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Are you happy with how F1 is being run by the FIA president?

Once every month at F1 Fanatic we look at how the president of the sport’s governing body, Jean Todt, is managing the championship.

Join in by casting your vote below.

FIA developments since the last approval rating

The 2011 tyres impasse

A tyre supplier for 2011 still hasn’t been appointed. In the last Approval Rating I wrote:

It seems the sticking point at present is the teams’ inability to choose a preferred supplier. Michelin and Pirelli are said to be the favourites. Will the FIA step in and make the decision for them?

And it now looks like that is exactly what’s happening. While the teams are believed to be close to agreeing terms with Pirelli, Todt told a French newspaper earlier this month that the FIA would open a tender for the contract:

[The FIA] will soon launch a tender, with the commercial promoter of the championship, Bernie Ecclestone.

[The Formula One Teams’ Association] FOTA may suggest that it decides, but the strong man is not he who speaks the loudest.
Jean Todt

As well as being a direct challenge to FOTA, the tender threatens to further delay efforts to appoint a tyre supplier for 2011. An agreement was originally expected at the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

Road safety

Two weeks after Lewis Hamilton was formally charged over his ‘hooning’ driving incident in Melbourne, Todt warned that drivers who break the law on public roads could face sporting penalties.

The FIA’s ‘Make Roads Safe’ campaign, intended to reduce fatalities on the roads, is already endorsed by all the F1 teams who carry the campaign’s logo on their cars.

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 (24%)
  • Disapprove (23%)
  • Approve (53%)

Total Voters: 1,001

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Jean Todt’s Approval Ratings

DateApproveDisapproveNo opinion
May 201078%8%14%
April 201063%14%23%
March 201053%24%23%
February 201057%14%29%
January 201055%16%29%

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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58 comments on “Jean Todt’s Approval Rating VI”

  1. Too soon to tell on Jean Todt so far. However if he follows the pattern of Balestre and Mosley, he’ll start well and over time will get intoxicated on his own power. Then F1 will repeat the cycle of recrimination and politics again :(

    1. Totally concur to that Frenton

  2. There is too much indecision with the tyres, jean needs to stop pratting about with tenders and the teams need to hurry up.

  3. disapprove: both examples you give are situations he did not handle well in my opinion.

    – if FIA wants to be in control of the tyre decesion, he should have done the tender at the latest in januari, now it will compromise the sport, by making ‘luck’ with the first interpretation of the new tyres and how the behavey, a bigger part of the equation. Also it will create more development costs, instead of less, teams now have to do more in a shorter time which is alway more expensive
    – for the hooning: racing on a circuit is something different then road driving. It is of the same hypocrite categorie as (current) KERS, or a green line on teh tyres instead of a white one: it really doesn’t make any differrence but they use it to just look good to the casual observer. But if you really think that those young boys in Civics and Volswagen GTI’s will change their driving style because of hooning, or no hooning, well, you just don’t get it.
    *rant over*

    1. that is hooning or no hooning by F1 drivers… hooning will always be there, even if we all fly around in flying saucers

    2. It’s not about changing the minds of people who already “hoon” it’s about not influencing people who don’t already do it.

      F1 drivers have a lot of power to influence the behaviour of their fans and they need to realise that.
      If it’s seen as acceptable for Lewis Hamilton (or any of the other drivers) to drive dangerously on the public road then what sort of example does that set for the young people looking up to him as their hero?

      Road deaths are unacceptably high and it’s right for F1 to get behind the safety campaign. Even if it is just raising awareness.

      1. well, I just think it won’t make a difference, because what we all see F1 drivers mostly do, is driving F1: very very fast driving, making burn outs to heat up the tyres and on events like Bavaria city racing or similar street events, you will see them doing donut after donut after donut…
        For some ‘would be hooners’, that just looks too cool to resist the urge to try that themselves. And not everybody has access to the money needed to do such things in a safe and closed environment.
        So I think the general ‘awareness’ F1 creates, does more for hooning then the perceived ‘awareness’ of Lewis letting his wheels spin.

        Having said this, I think the tyre issue is by far the most important one.

        1. That, and it was already made clear by Hamilton and his team, not to mention much of the British media, that he was stupid in doing that and should be sorry. I found it Maxley that Todt felt a need to dive into that debate a month late and after all agreed on how unwise it was to make an issue of it again.

          But for me the tires is indeed a bigger issue, and handled badly.

          1. I notice it says `breaking the law on public roads` does that include using a non hands free mobile or parking on the zig zags of a zebra crossing.

    3. Verstappen: very very true on all counts. Up and down tenure from Todt so far, certainly not the steady, reliable hand it needs to be. There have been elements of that but not nearly as much as there needs to be.

      A return to chest thumping about who makes the decisions isn’t going to help anyone. If the FIA have the power, then they and Bernie should have sorted this out last year when Bridgestone withdrew.

  4. Went for no opinion, partly because this drivers behavior thing is a bit big brother, partly because Todt should have put out the tender at the begining of the year, he should have been talking to the teams throughout the discussions on tyres an the FIA shouldn’t now be wading in an further muddying dirty water this late in the day.

    Also not particularly pleased that we don’t know who the new team is yet, if it goes on till august they’ll likley be even slower than this years lot, also the way he’s doing it makes it less likley a team will build there own car an more likley they’ll have to adapt the TF101. Which by now could itself be well off the pace.

    An finally stewarding, originally I was nothing but delighted by the reprimands and fan friendly results but it’s got ridiculous. I’m not asking for drive through penalties galore, my prefered punishment is always a grid drop, but the drivers are getting away with too much, an there’s going to be a great big accident before too long an someone might be killed or hurt. Kubica should have been punished for weaving round Sutil, Vettle and Hamilton should have suffered grid drops for nearly killing a Williams mechanic, Truli should have been punished for causing a very avoidable accident with Chandook. Grid drops are the ideal punishment, while they don’t ruin a result, they impact on a driver, warn the other of doing what he did, an make the next race more interesting sometimes.

    All these things have swithed me from approve, but still I feel he’s been such an imrpovement on Mosley, an the political situation in F1 is heads and shoulders above were it was, however if these issues still remain unchanged next month, it’s going to be hard to back the man up.

    1. Well said, I feel much the same. Good you mention the 13th team decision, I too am worried about that.

      With the stewarding, after the last few years with weird and unevenly harsh punishments for some things, the reprimands were a breath of fresh air. But I think that now they should be starting to count up the reprimands, and evaluate their preventative value, and maybe warn drivers that they will become more strict if that evaluation shows a lack of effect.

    2. I think I probably agree with your verdict and the reasoning behind it.

      I desperately do not want the inclusion of an ex-f1 driver in the Stewards to become a ‘special guest attraction’ type of event. these blokes have a lot to offer to the Stewards expertise, but hey need to be a bit more experienced in Stewarding.
      The Stewards per se need to show a bit more resolve, teeth and backbone.
      I am sincerely concerned that next year’s tyre supplier (or size, or range of compounds) does not seem to be assured. If I remember rightly, the August break is the point at which the team’s development switches from this season to next season, and I don’t think it is likely that they will know much about next year’s tyres at that point.
      Maybe we should all applaud the lateness of the tyre decision, though. It could shake up the grid again next season with those (wealthy) teams that guessed and guessed wrong, wrong footed by lesser teams that started development later because they had fewer resources.
      Unless Jean Todt is suddenly exposed in an unatural relationship with a sheep called Hilda, he’s still better than Max.
      Still, funny way to run a Championship.

  5. Back to “no opinion” after approving last month.
    He’s still doing quite a good job but his first major problem to solve has been the tyre situation and he’s making a bit of a mess of it.

    Same with the new teams, once again the decision is being left too late.

  6. I thought that the article under this one will influence people to vote negative because of the role he played during the Indy saga.

    To my surprise, most people are favourable to his regime….. (maybe, most of them are Ferrari fans)…. but my conspiracy theorem notwithstanding, I think it is too early to rate him as his power-drunkenness is yet to show. I sincerely hope he will not emulate Max Mosley in that area.

  7. Early days but I do agree with the fact any F1 driver will be fined heavily if they break road laws as it will send a negative message to the people who owns cars & love F1.

    I think that the drivers points needs to be cut out from the championship if they do anything of what Hamilton have done.

    1. Why should they be treated differently to anyone else? 99% of people wouldn’t even have known about this event if the Australians hadn’t made such a big deal of it.

      1. Because they are F1 drivers.

        1. F1 has nothing to do with road cars, you can say all you want about people getting idea’s from them or doing it because they look up to certain drivers, but in no way should an F1 drivers season be ruined because of something they did on public roads. I am sure most F1 drivers aren’t the best on public roads, which is why they get other people to drive them around.

    2. What a joke!! You now want any driver who makes a road error to have points deducted!! Maybe Mike Hawthorn would agree!!

  8. Since the last time, he’s annoyed me with criticism of LH and his “hooning” incident in Australia. Kind of jumping on the bandwagon and stringing something out that should be done and dusted by now (I know the court hearing isn’t until August). It was unlikely that Lewis put anyone in danger in Australia and still there’s been no mention of Alonso racing through the streets in Australia which was caught on camera. Seems like unnecessary Hamilton-bashing and letting off of Teflonso.

    1. What, do you think Vic Police are Alonso and/or Ferrari fans and book drivers accordingly?

  9. I’ve changed to disapprove for the first time. I commented in the last approval rating that the tyre situation was what I was most worried about, and if anything he’s made it even worse, disappointing.

  10. I had approved of Todt’s presidency until now as I’ve switched to no opinion. The way the decision on tyres is going is worrying, as it seems he’s trying to sabotage any deal FOTA are trying to come to so he can prove that the FIA is still in control of F1, and that FOTA is powerless. If this is whats going on its cynical politiking of the worst kind and frustrates all fans of the sport. If they want to play poltics they should run for Parliament but until then they need to put the interests of the sport before power grabs.

  11. I almost never read or hear about him. That’s a very good thing.

  12. Todt : KERS is KRAP.
    Roadcars already have it since years ago, and now are even moving to all-electric. Its an expensive empty green gesture that only serves to perpetuate the difference between teams with money and those who dont.
    F1 is way behind the curve in this technology and who cares.
    It makes the cars longer and thus renders historic venues increasingly obsolete – the cars just dont fit in them.
    If you want processions in Abu Dahbi with empty grandstands, vote for KERS

  13. I’ve gone from a few Approvals to No Opinion – the first time since the first vote.

    The reason is that I don’t approve of the way he’s handled the tyre situation, and whilst it makes sense that drivers should be held accountable for off-track antics, it seems a bit of a stunt prompted only by a driver (doesn’t matter who) getting bad press, a reactionary stunt that, if it was so important, should have been done without prompting. I also wonder if the penalties might be sledgehammers to break nuts.

    But I still think he’s done a good job in other areas.

  14. This is my first disapprove. The main reason is for Gus recent tyre comments.

  15. Keith you should do the same with Bernie, no HD until 2012? Are you kidding me?

    1. it’d be pointless. every month would be…..
      disapprove – 99.7% ;-)

  16. I find the whole tire situation, at least as it appears from the outside, to be very unpleasant. If one assumes that Todt is correct and the teams aka FOTA don’t have the final say on the matter, I’m wondering why the selection process has taken this long into the season and, apparently, longer than expected at some point.

    The major perspectives, now, appear to be either to select a manufacturer who can and agrees to basically (re-)produce 2010-spec tires for next year – or leaving the teams with the tires as an unknown factor while they’re well into the development of next year’s cars.

    Both are not optimal choices, in my opinion. “Having” to continue with the current specs just because, by now, the teams can claim they won’t be able to adjust to anything vastly different in the time available validates the kinds of tires that are being used now, ignoring the whole debate that was already raised about whether, for example, the dimensions should be totally changed. It would also validate the compromise that was made for this year, by making the front tires smaller, because the current and soon former tire supplier apparently didn’t want to re-dimensionalise the rear tires.

    On the other hand, the possibility of bringing in a manufacturer who will produce tires to some other kinds of specifications that may or may not, then, still have to be determined, brings in the potential that some teams may not be able to get their car to work properly with the tires next year – and I think that’s going to result in criticism and very little opportunities to adjust that, because if chassis/monocoque homologation rules for 2011 would be similar or identical to what’s in place this year, I don’t think there could be “B-versions” as we’ve seen them in previous seasons.

  17. I have yet to hear a decisive argument why Todt seems to think its ok to penalise drivers (on track so to speak) for misdemeanour’s they may commit on public roads. Where will it end…

    1. Christian Ditch
      21st June 2010, 3:26

      Todt’s ideas should be supported, not lambasted.

      As an F1 driver, there is a responsibility to behave in a certain way. That involves driving in a correct manner. F1 drivers are ambassadors for the sport; role models to young men beginning to drive.

      Therefore, they need to set an example that the streets are no place for unsafe and reckless driving. Moreover, they need to send out the message that the place for speed is the race track, not the world’s road networks.

      If they fail to do this, they bring the whole sport into disrepute.

      It is important too, to remember that the FIA grants F1 drivers a superlicense in order to compete in grand prix. Should they at any point demonstrate that they cannot drive a car in a safe manner, whether it be on track or off track, then why shouldn’t they get a hefty fine from the FIA as a reminder to buck up their ideas?

      Granted, F1 drivers have exceptional control over cars. But that exceptional control does not extend to the drivers that surround them on public roads, whose reactions are unpredictable. All it takes is one driver to react in a sharp way to Hamilton’s fish-tailing, and suddenly there can be a pile up.

      Of all people, it is F1 drivers that understand best how split second reactions can cause monumental accidents. As the granter of a license to race, the FIA arguably has a responsibility to act if such accidents are caused by recklessness on the part of license holders.

      F1 drivers need to set an example. Speed is for the race track, not for the streets.

      1. F1 drivers are not role models, its there job, same as any other person on TV, its there job and they get paid to do it. Parents should not blame role models for what there kids do, they should make sure they do the right thing in the first place.

        1. Christian Ditch
          21st June 2010, 20:53

          Burying your head in the sand won’t ever solve a problem. They are role models, whether people like it or not; people look up to Lewis Hamilton in the same way they would to David Beckham.

          Yep, it is their job, their role. And with roles come responsibilities. As they are the ambassadors for a whole sport they have a responsibility to act in a certain manner. See John Terry. Or Tiger Woods.

          The point in Todt’s proposal is that F1 drivers should know better than to act dangerously on the roads. Acting irresponsibly should surely be reflected in punishments by the governing body.

  18. My first disapproval of Todt as FIA President. He is dilly-dallying over the choice of tyre supplier. Sign the deal already! We all know it’s going to be Pirelli!

    1. Joe Saward has said Michelin is back in the running. The longer they take to decide, the better it gets for Michelin because they’re the ones with more recent F1 experience…

      1. Bad news. Pirelli in my opinion should get the contract. I’ve never liked Michelin since they entered F1 in 2001 an believe they should stay away. Surprises me that Todt is talking to them … he wouldn’t give them a second glance when he was running Ferrari.

        1. Because frankly Michelin are the better choice, they’ll be safer, greener, more reliable, easier to work with, etc.

          Pirelli don;t have the experiance.

  19. i still think schumacher’s penalty in monaco was mishandled – he should have been classified right behind alonso. also, this tire business has gone on too long now, and the rumored standard-issue kers would be a huge mistake. a “no opinion” vote from me this month, inching towards “disapproval”.

  20. no opinion on the basis that my opinion is worthless and the whole BP saga has put me off public opinion for life.

  21. I disapprove of recent prevarication but overall approve and this approval is strong relative to my opinions of his predecessor. As there’s no ‘Approve a little bit less than last poll’ option, I chose ‘approve’.

  22. I voted “no oppionion” but it was getting close to disapprove this time, after approving his work before.

    I think the handling of the tyre issue is not good. First he did want to force everybody to go with his choice – Michelin, overstepping his hand. Then he let it go on for pretty long without results and now FOTA and Bernie agreed he starts postponing an agreement.

    Also one thing you did not mention is the process to choose the 13th entry for next season. With his sons ART and Epsilon Euskadi believed to be the main contenders he would do good to avoid any steps that might seem to favor ART.
    Delaying the desicion i cannot help but feel a certain advantage of ART, if they are really planning to use the Toyota 2010 chassis. This car is already developed, so having less time speaks for ART instead of EE who would have to do the car from scratch.

  23. If Mosely had been running the show this year, I’m pretty sure we would have a tyre supplier by now. And if Todt hadn’t stamped his authority by saying the FIA decide who will be supplying the tyres, I’m sure the teams would have agreed on a supplier by now.

    I hope this isnt relations between the FIA and FOTA starting to crack again…

    I voted no opinion, because Todt hasnt done a lot for us to have an opinion about in the past month or so… This kinda worries me though, while he has stepped back into the shadows a little, which is a good thing to a degree, it almost seems like he has gone too far into the shadows…

  24. About Todt. I believe he is doing a good job, but there are still many issues to be resolved

  25. I don’t see why Todt is being blamed for the tyre situation. It’s FOTA’s fault for failing to agree amongst themselves, I am sure that the FIA were hoping that they would not have to step in. But now that it’s clear FOTA aren’t going to agree, the FIA are having to act. The process may be delayed, but not by half as much as would be the case if FOTA were going to try and get universal agreement. We’d still be here in 2013.

  26. I disapprove of the way the FIA has handled the Tyres and 13th Team situation, we are halfway through the season and we still don’t have a decision on either for next year. That can only compromise the teams for 2011, particularly the 13th new team, and ultimately waste money.

    FOTA have their part to play in the Tyres situation, but ultimately its the FIA that pulls the strings.

    1. Agreed – I voted disapprove for the first time because of this. It matters more that a decision is taken promptly, so development work can begin, than what the decision actually is.

      Is it in the FIA’s (or anyone’s) interests to have this development delay?

  27. I think a simple approve/disapprove poll is a very naive way of determining how the F1 fans feel about how the president is doing his job. A much more effective way would be to have a rating system like you do with the F1 races. Case in point, should I disapprove because of the delay in agreeing on a tire manufacturer or should I approve because he is taking a strong stand on road safety? If I approve it appears if I support him fully, if I disapprove it would appear that I think he’s not doing a good job. And the no opinion is clearly not relevant in this case, as I have one, I just don’t feel that either of the options reflects my opinion.

    1. I think the idea is to be as close as possible to how pollsters assess the approval of politicians like President Obama.

  28. My opinion on Todt has gone down from previous months because of the tyre situation.

    It is all very well saying that the FIA have the final decision and that they will put out a tender for a tyre supplier, but if that is the case then a tender should have been done months ago.

    It came across to me as the Todt flexing his muscles, trying to remind the teams who is in change,

  29. maestrointhesky
    21st June 2010, 21:54

    How can we not be pleased to see the back of Mosely! The fact that the new President doesn’t have his face plastered across the back, and front pages for that matter, is surely monumental progress! No outside influence of results; no bedroom antics? The base we were coming from was pretty dire admittedly but the fact is, results aren’t changed by the bureaucrats in suits and the president is kind of anonymous, which I like!

  30. Surprised to see him go from 78% to 51% approve in the last month. What’s he done that’s been so bad?

    1. We heard from him a bit more? That post by Pete was quite apt. The levels are roughly back at what they were in Januari, so it seems he has lost

      Both the tires, and the 13th team decision are getting later every month. Two months ago we thought FOTA would soon decided on the tires, a month ago we were thinking FOTA takes too long. Now we see that FIA is partly to blame for dragging it out further.

      And many people seem worried that the stewards have now become to lenient instead of being erratically harsh.

      Maybe Mosley gave quite a few people a trauma that they cannot easily shake off, so that credit built up is easily discarded in case of doubt with the FIA. I certainly do feel something like that, the “surely not again” response.

      1. … lost trust he gained over the earlier part of the season.

        sorry, lost end of 1st paragraph, time to go to bed.

    2. Well, that’s only 27% of people changing their mind. Amongst a relatively small, well-informed number of voters, you would expect to see a much greater reactive variation in opinion (than large-scale political surveys for example, where people’s opinions are less informed, more ingrained and inert).

      Todt’s handling of both the 13th team and tyre decisions has been slow and opaque. When he remedies this, his rating will improve, whatever the decisions.

  31. Awaiting Saward to open his tawdry gob and have another go at the French in general..

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