Jean Todt’s Approval Rating X

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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

Korean Grand Prix

Part of the FIA’s International Sporting Code was waived in order to ensure the Korean Grand Prix took place. The code requires tracks to be inspected at least 60 days before holding a world championship race (Appendix O, article 3.4) but the Korean circuit was given the go-ahead just ten days before the first practice session began.

Last-minute work was still being done at the track during the race weekend, including changes to kerbs and run-off areas.

But the real problem came when heavy rain hit the track on Sunday. Poor drainage and limited visibility meant the start had to be postponed and 17 laps were spent behind the safety car before the race started. The late start of the race meant the closing stages were run in very poor light as darkness fell.

After the race drivers said they wanted more input into decisions regarding circuit design as they felt the pit lane entrance at Korea was unsafe.

13th team

Jacques Villeneuve, who made an application along with former GP2 team Durango to enter an F1 team in 2011, criticised the FIA’s team selection process.

He said the governing body “did a backflip” when it turned down his application, along with those from other teams, and chose not to appoint a 13th team for 2011.

Women in motor sport

Todt’s efforts to increase participation in motor racing by women continue and today Volkswagen are running a test day for female racers at Oschersleben in Germany..

Visit to Africa

On a visit to Africa Todt played down suggestions the continent might have its first Grand Prix since 1993 any time soon. South Africa held the football world cup earlier this year:

At the moment it’s only some rumours about some interest for some countries in Africa to organise a Formula One event but I don’t see any opportunity in the next three to five years.
Jean Todt

One year on

Todt has been FIA president for one year. McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh was among those to voice his support for him, saying:

I’ve got to say that Jean Todt has I think played a good role. I think he’s busily and quietly reforming the FIA in the background, which I know has probably caused some discomfort within that organisation. I think he hasn’t used F1 as a personal platform for his own promotion, and I think that’s very, very positive.
Martin Whitmarsh

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 (16%)
  • Disapprove (24%)
  • Approve (60%)

Total Voters: 776

 Loading ...

Tell us how you voted and explain why in the comments.

Jean Todt’s Approval Ratings

Date Approve Disapprove No opinion
September 2010 44% 43% 12%
August 2010 60% 17% 23%
July 2010 54% 24% 22%
June 2010 53% 23% 24%
May 2010 78% 8% 14%
April 2010 63% 14% 23%
March 2010 53% 24% 23%
February 2010 57% 14% 29%
January 2010 55% 16% 29%
Jean Todt's Approval Rating

Image © FIA

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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61 comments on “Jean Todt’s Approval Rating X”

  1. Approve. I think he’s doing the job well. (as said by Martin Whitmarsh – quietly!)

  2. After turning into disapproving of his actions (or failure to act) last time round, i went to no opinion this time.
    I still find it worrying the FIA failed to act stronger on Ferrari ignoring the rule on team orders and disapprove of the way the desicion on the 13th team was handled.
    However he did give the Koreans the time to get the GP going (did not interfere with Bernie dealing with it) and focussing on Rally in Africa sounds good to me, they had Dakar, lets take it back to Africa and then see where it is going.
    Not impressed with Todt, but he did not get worse.

    1. I agree, based on that I voted “disapprove” though

      1. After thinking about it, I wish i had voted disapprove as well. But its to latefor that now :-(

        1. I would rather Keith removed the ‘no opinion’ option, it just clouds the result.

          Frankly, If someone has no opinion (in any poll) they shouldn’t be voting.

          1. Allowing people to vote “no opinion” demonstrates how many people have a neutral view of how Todt is performing, as well as those who genuinely don’t care one way or the other. It makes the positive and negative votes more useful as it measures them against the people who neither approve nor disapprove as well, as opposed to just measuring those two against one another.

            One thing I would suggest is that Keith included a measure of “net approval” to show more clearly how much the positives outweigh the negatives (so last month Todt’s net approval would be +1, the previous month it would be +43). This is what YouGov, for example, do with their government approval ratings in their regular political opinion polls (for instance, last night’s net approval rating for the UK government was -4).

          2. “If someone has no opinion (in any poll) they shouldn’t be voting”

            That’s plain silly. No opinion means: my opinion doesn’t fit any of the other choices. Seems to me like excluding those people would be clouding the result, not the other way around. It would be like saying that if you don’t see things only in black and white extremes you shouldn’t be voting.

          3. A “no opinion” vote is as good as tacit approval. If you’re not upset enough to vote in the negative it’s another way of saying “approve”.

            I have to base that on the fact that most people visiting this site are familiar with the issues and have an opinion, one way or the other.

          4. I don’t particularly approve or disapprove. He made a mess of the Ferrari situation, and he hasn’t done enough positive work to swing my previous vote up to approve. But I recognise giving Korea the go ahead and that he has also not done anything negative, so I moved to no opinion. I see it as a scale from 1 to 3, with 3 being a really good job, 1 being really bad, and 2 (no opinion) being moderate.

          5. I agree it’s worded incorrectly. the option should be not sure or better yet undecided.

            If you don’t have an OPINION why are you voting?

          6. Does it really matter? We all know what the no opinion vote means right? not good, but not bad either right? So why the semantics?

            On the other hand, if Keith changed it. He opens himself up to accusations of changing the wording in order to alter the outcome.
            I wouldn’t accuse him of that, but well, you read the comments on this site so you know how there is always one to jump on any perceived mistake he has made.

            I think for consistency, it should be left as is.

      2. Also voted “dissaprove” based on the failure to punish Ferrari. I dont see that turning into an “approve” any time soon either…

        1. It is total stupidity for teams not to have orders. Wake up guys, its natural. And for that I would like to vote approve cubic. One more argument is that Mosley is against team orders, what other proof do you need !!??

          1. I applaud you, agree totally.

          2. I didnt even say that I was opposed to team orders.

            I just think that the rules should be followed by all teams, and if they arent, there should be proper consequences.

          3. Well said Hallard!

          4. I think the speed limit is ridiculous and so do other people. So that’s why I cannot be punished for driving too fast …

            Or can I?

    2. I voted the same BasCB, for exactly the same reasons. He still hasn’t made good for the poor explanation of Team Orders ruling, he really botched the selection of the 13th team (and the runner up 14th team to take their place if any team can’t make the grid, which I haven’t even heard mentioned for months now). On the other hand he (through Charlie Whiting) showed leniency towards Korea which allowed that GP to take place. I think it would have been a MASSIVE failure to write of that race, and the fact that he managed to let them race swayed me to no opinion rather than disapprove. I still think he has lots to answer for in regards to team orders and team selection, but hopefully that will all improve next year.

  3. Depends. If it’s month-by-month, there’s nothing really been done to make me Approve of his job besides him not messing up anything. If it’s a continuous judgement, there’s equally nothing to raise my opinion up from Disapprove after the comments he made regarding and contradicting the WMSC decision.

    On balance, I’ll stay on Disapprove. Why?
    – Not cancelling Korea 60 days before was a good idea because there was no replacement, but there wasn’t even a provision for a replacement as in the past.
    -The entire process in which new teams enter is flawed with no signs of it being fixed and this year’s just dragged on for far too long anyway.
    -The level of effort put into the women in motorsport make it seem little more than a gimmick (I remember Steph made an excellent point about how it had to be started at grassroots, a test day run by one manufacturer – I smell a gimmick here too – does almost nothing in comparison)
    -His unhelpful comments over Spa’s future. I don’t know if he’s doing everything he can and it’s just because it’s out of his hands, but that’s exactly the problem: he didn’t say.

    1. Depends. If it’s month-by-month, there’s nothing really been done to make me Approve of his job besides him not messing up anything.

      To be clear, the question is “do you approve or disapprove?” not “do you approve or disapprove based on what he’s done this month?”

      1. Oh, I appreciate that, I just assumed that you were leaving the methodology up to the individual and I was just musing aloud on which to use. Continuous seems more correct to me given your clarification though.

        1. No prob, I’ll put something about it next to the poll.

          1. Based off of your results so far, I think most people assume it is month to month (I haven’t been voting that way though). It’s either that or people are excessively fickle and change their entire opinion on someone based off of events that are largely out of tgheir control, which might be true if people vote in your poll like they do in the midterm election polls in the US.

    2. dyslexicbunny
      3rd November 2010, 14:18

      (sarcasm) But but but, women need 50/50 presence in EVERYTHING!!!(/sarcasm)

      I think a lot of getting women involved in a lot of things is just a gimmick to get free positive PR. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t qualified women but women for women’s sake is silly.

  4. Just on the subject of team orders, I’m noticing a trend for teams to affirm that’s how it works.
    If you see the latest Renault news in GPUpdate they refer to Kubica as “team leader” and to Petrov as “# 2 driver”.
    Also Ross Brawn’s recent talk about Massa “not holding up Schumacher”. First Massa was held up just in case he wouldn’t come in front of Alonso, nothing to do with MS. But then RB was kind of very forcefully trying to say that they don’t complain about others holding the up…

    1. Stating that there is a (de facto or chosen) “first” driver has nothing to do with “team orders”.

      Only swapping cars around during the race is illegal.

      1. dyslexicbunny
        3rd November 2010, 14:23

        Exactly. Favoritism != Team Orders.

        Favoritism should lead to better results on race day.
        Team orders leads to changing results on race day.

        Team principles such as “if other guy is coming up on you hard, so don’t defend aggressively” are something I don’t know where they fall in. Teams want to maximize their points and that’s fair to prevent a collision. But I think drivers should race to earn positions. That’s one I can’t make a good opinion on.

  5. I think jean todt is doing very good job and i am quite impressed that he is recognizing that FIA is not all about F1. There are so many things to take considering it’s parental role for many races. We need to see his job in that perspective (not just what he does with F1) and he seems doing fabulous job.

    Regarding his failure to act on this Ferrari issue (btw i am ferrari fan), you need to understand when some organization of FIA caliber takes decision it should stand well legally also. Based on current regulation there is no it is possible to prove coded messages as team orders in court of law (We all knew what happened with briatore, Mosley done correct decision but it was so hard to stand in court). FIA can’t take decision by keeping perception in mind.

    1. Except the WMSC did prove Ferrari guilty. People complained because they didn’t think the punishment was harsh enough.

      1. BUT don’t mix this up with Todt. The poll was for how HE was doing not the WMSC legal panel. IMO I think it was right what he did. Sent it to the WMSC judgepanel, I don’t agree with the ruling they came back with on the other side but I have to say Todt took it and didn’t try to change it. I could see Max not agreeing with something like that and simply just try to change it and openly acclaim how wrong something where.

        Todt does his things. Keeps opinion to himself, as Whitemarsh said it don’t seem he used the Presidency for his own self promotion like his predecessor which we STILL hear a lot F1 related stuff from. Actually hear more from him then from Todt in the news.

        I approve of him. I might not approve off every single thing and the outcome BUT keep in mind certain things is not directly in his control, just because he is President doesn’t mean he control and can make everything go his way nor should be responsible for things out of his control where there are panels handling things or a different organization.
        The track selection et all is handled by FOM and Bernie Ecclestone it’s as much his fault if not more since the deal was setup by him before Todt was even president of FIA. Yes the FIA could said sorry no go not approved 60 days in advance. But to be honest had it not been for bad weather it would been a thrilling race. They lapped 9 seconds faster then expected (not so shabby for a newly laid dirty and oily asphalt not to mention it didn’t break up but held up)

        1. BUT don’t mix this up with Todt.

          Of course not. The decision wasn’t his. His words after were, though, which is what I’ve personally focused on.

    2. The Stewards did have evidence to find Ferrari guilty AND the WMSC confirmed and upheld their judgement, so please do not try to argue FIA was not able to prove their stance. Had Ferrari gone to court, they would have had to present evidence of their stance, i.e. that team orders were not punished before. I am very sceptical of Ferrari being able to do so.

      As for the parralell to Briatore, the Frensh court only found that, firstly Briatore is not a licenced entity to the FIA and therefore cannot be punished by them and secondly the procedures in the FIA were very unsatisfactory with Mosley both investigating, prosecuting and being part of the ruling on the case. That is someting Todt changed at the start of the year.

    3. I think Todts blindingly uninformed/stupid remarks right after the WMSC trial is what hurt my opinion of him most.

      He said that there was no proof and then you see the Ferrari fans pick up on that (nonsensical) quote and keep repeating it over and over.

      What worries me most is that either Todt was completely uninformed or (even worse) that he send his personal representative into the WMSC with that mission. ie to make sure that there was further punishment because there was “not enough proof”.

      Either way it reflects incredibly poorly on Todt that he gave such a stupid comment when the WMSC clearly did find Ferrari guilty on all counts.

      1. Agree with that wholehearteldy. Not only did he make a fool of himself, he got everyone confused about what was going on and led me to doubt his role in the whole proces again.

  6. I think it’s pretty clear Todt will get a better rating this time around because the anger factor really drove the numbers last time around. This month there will probably be a trend for disapprovals to turn neutral and neutral to approvals. How big the trend is is what will be significant, I think.

    Patrickl, I agree completely.

  7. I voted no opinion. Not because I have no opinion, but because that was the most neutral option

  8. I approve of the way Jean Todt has been running things. However, I think that making special allowances for Korea in regards to the track inspection could have been a really bad idea.

    The drivers were not happy with the pit entrance, and this was potentially quite dangerous. I’m glad the race went ahead, as it gave us another good race.

    Imagine if something bad had happened though, and they bypased safety procedures. It could have been extremely different!

  9. So I went with approve for the first time in a while because events have come to make me realise that to judge Todt you have to seperate him from the FIA, an he’s used his power to consitantly improve the FIA, the way it works and the way it administrates.

    For instance, “fasterthanyoudoyouunderstandthismessagegate” blame the WMSC for that.

  10. Can anyone remind me why his approval rating was so high in May?

    1. If you click on the May 2010 line in the approval table you can have a look at the comments made by voters at the time.

      Basically he had just overseen the Schumi overtake get solved without any big trouble, they had wing mirros banned and the tyre supplier was announced.

      Nothing really against him and really refreshing to see him let the processes go their ways without insulting and stepping in just to show he is the bos, like Mosley liked to do.

  11. On the hand of F1, Jean Todt you disappoint us here in South Africa, you speak of a F1 World Championship, but all you interested in is hosting the sport in mainly Europe, so why not just call it EuroCup!! The Motorsport following in South Africa is massive, when F1 grace our shores in ’92, ’93 and even the odd other FIA sanctioned events the queues were km’s in length & attendence was sold out on most of them. I’ve been following F1 for a lot of years (35+ years), it has aways been the top in development, yet we see F1 doesn’t test the engines at high Alt in race conditions, do we only drive cars at sea level. Mr Todt, rethink your decision on South Africa hosting the biggest motorsport event on the globe, F1!!!

  12. I voted approve last month because I agree with the way Todt handed over responsibility for the Ferrari case to his deputy, perhaps being mindful of what would be perceived as his own vested interest (the decision that came back was irrelevant as Todt didn’t make it). I haven’t seen anything particularly this month that changes that, so I still approve.

  13. The reason that the teams are happy with Mr Todt is that he is not interfering, how could he be as he is spending so much time feathering his own nest. His new idea for the FIA to find the next Vettel is a great idea especially for Nicholas Todt as i imagine that he will be managing the best of the bunch to come out if this FIA sponsored extravagance. I am surprised the journalists and bloggers have not investigated this more.

  14. No opinion

    But good to see that they didn’t brought another slow team in F1. The FIA could have done better on the Korean GP.

  15. Remember Max anyone? Now click the approve box!

    1. Yeah, remembering Max, total approve

    2. He was pretty good in his first year too.

      1. ok, if Todt will go the same way like Mosley did, i will vote disapprove, but now its all ok

    3. Clockworck Kitty
      2nd November 2010, 17:37

      Nazi spankgates on the side, I remember JM Balestre as even worse than Mad Max.

      1. I think we are definately on an upwards trend here.
        That said, Max was not bad in his first years, and started going dictator only during his second stint as FIA president.

        1. Tony Blair only went a bit mental in 2002/3 as well. Maybe there’s something that happens to everyone after five or six years in power. The US have it right with their two-term limit on Presidents!

          1. I think you might be right Red Andy. After a while, even democratically elected leaders start to believe their own rhetoric – Thatcher did, Blair did.
            So, while I dislike the absolute abandonment of a good leader in full stride (can only think of Lula of Brazil), I support the idea of a two term maximum for any organisation, whether it’s the FIA, or the USA, even Russia (are you listening, Putin?).

          2. A lot of countries have it following the example. Even Russia have it, of sorts (that’s why Putin has changed seats with Medvedev after 2 terms in office)

  16. I’m still not over the team order rule, so I hate to disapprove.

  17. FIA Epic fail. Im really close to “unfollowing” F1. For me the last straw would be if Alonso wins the WDC. But then again what do you expect? Ex-Ferrari team boss, son is Massa’s manager. Ferrari International Assistance ? Indeed!! I could go on, but it would be easier to just to stop watching god-awful races at ridiculous hours and just get some sleep, then when I wake up and watch French GP 1979. If only we had races as good as the BBC’s broadcast ( yes, even with Legard’s nonsense ).

    1. Seriously, if you can’t appreciate a season that has largely had a close 5 way contest for the title, and classic, thrilling races like Melbourne, Istanbul, Montreal, Spa and Korea, then there just isn’t a reason for someone like you you to watch.

      Go ahead and “unfollow” F1.

  18. The lack of a big fuss about Korea (despite Bernie’s best efforts) is a big plus in my book.

  19. No news is good news. It’s such a pleasant change to be able to focus on what happens (mostly) on track!

  20. I really like these whole idea of the rating. I also like the stats, graph’s etc. keep up the good work!

    I really try to understand the job that Todt has to do, But when I think about him the only thing that comes up is “let Micheal pass for the championship, let Micheal pass for the championship!!!” that + the judgement of Ferrari in the teamorders case made my vote a disapprove one.

  21. I vote approve, as we’ve been able to focus on the exciting climax to the season without so many off-track politics (barring Hockenheim, which wasn’t Todt’d fault, even with the incorrect comments he made after).

  22. Although one year is relatively little time to show your work, thus far I have approved of Jean Todt’s actions. I agreed with his position with regard to Ferrari’s team orders. I fully approve on his action in not adding more mickey-mouse teams to the grid. Although I am sorry to hear Kyalami might not see the return of F1, Jean Todt merely said he does not see “an opportunity” for a return to Africa soon [How can there be a return, with all the new tracks coming on stream, in India, Russia, Texas ….]. I’m not sure about female racing drivers, but I guess if they can be jet fighter pilots, why not racing drivers! Go Jean Todt.

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