Jean Todt’s Approval Rating XI

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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

2011 F1 calendar ratified

The FIA officially ratified the 2011 F1 calendar which has the most races ever. The addition of the Indian Grand Prix brings the calendar up to 20 rounds.

Competitor licenses

At the FIA General Assembly the International Sporting Code was been updated with a new section explaining how competitor licenses will work:

All those involved in the FIA World Championships are directly subject to the FIA’s jurisdiction. Those who are guilty of conduct contrary to the FIA regulations will be denied access to the areas under the control of the FIA in the events counting towards these championships. The procedure for implementing this system will be examined within the framework of working groups specific to each of the FIA World Championships.

Stewarding in 2010

An early policy of Todt’s was the introduction of representatives with racing experience on the panel of stewards at Grands Prix. Lewis Hamilton said he thought races this year had benefited from less “manipulation”.

Team orders

At the World Motor Sport Council’s hearing into Ferrari’s use of team orders at the German Grand Prix the council decided the rules which ban team orders need to be examined. This will take place next month.

In the meantime Todt has given his view on the team orders debate:

I am not against team orders, but I am against lies. It is necessary to have the honesty to explain ? to account for ? and to say that you did it and why you did it. It is completely unacceptable to apply team orders and then afterwards to ask a whole team to lie.
Jean Todt

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 (12%)
  • Disapprove (18%)
  • Approve (71%)

Total Voters: 695

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

Jean Todt’s Approval Ratings

DateApproveDisapproveNo opinion
October 201060%24%16%
September 201044%43%12%
August 201060%17%23%
July 201054%24%22%
June 201053%23%24%
May 201078%8%14%
April 201063%14%23%
March 201053%24%23%
February 201057%14%29%
January 201055%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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40 comments on “Jean Todt’s Approval Rating XI”

  1. I think Todt’s first year in charge has gone well by and large, including a former driver as a race steward for each event has been a success which was probably his most important decision regarding F1.

    I would have liked him to kick the WMSC harder to make them deal with the team orders scandal in a more effective manner, basically I am bitterly disappointed they buckled under the threats made by Ferrari. They should have had the balls to stand up and be counted, there was no need to kick Ferrari out the championship or impose a McLaren level fine on them, but they could have and should have done something about the manipulated results of the german GP.

    The noises he has made so far regaurding how he wants team orders handled in the future sound good, but they need to make sure they don’t leave a grey mess that will come back to haunt F1 in the future.

    The other change I hope he makes is to give the stewards some lee-way when it comes to dealing with bad regulations, as highlighted by the situation at the end of the Monaco GP when Schumacher overtook Alonso when the race was green flagged on the last lap. I understand and accept what both Ferrari and Mercedes said and realise that the problem wasn’t the position taken by either team but was instead caused by badly worded regulations. In this case I believe the stewards should have been able to just reverse the position, or give both drivers an equal finishing place and points….. rather than punish either of the drivers.

    Here is hoping we can have another season next year without any of the pointless and distracting politics that marred many of the previous seasons.

    1. Well put Andy W.

      More or less agree with all you say on the subject of team orders. Todt has done a more than resonable first year in what must be one of the trickiest jobs on the planet.

      Balancing the power and money of major teams and their egotistical owners against a properly governed code of practice was never going to be a stroll in the park.

      For the most part he’s got the balance spot on so far, and providing he doesn’t let his power go to his head and destroy all the good he can do ( a’la Mosley ) then he’ll retain the respect of most of us fans.

  2. Disaprove until he can delete the team order ban from regulation. He is not anti team order, so I hope he can make it clear. Doesnt mean that I agree with the team order but all the controversies were of the result of badly worded team order regulation.

    1. I don’t understand how they were badly worded.

  3. Overall I disapprove of the way Todt is handling the FIA presidency.
    While there are some good things done or set into motion, the way politics went more into the background and fear in the paddock is gone are all very good things for the FIA and Formula 1, there are just too many things I cannot accept as a sports fan.

    The unwillingness of Todt to support and push for enforcement of the current rule as well as his positive stance on allowing team orders are too big a thing. And his slip of the tongue right after the WMSC hearing, when he was not supposed to be involved only made matters worse.
    Ferrari threathened to go to court over it, and scared the FIA council from taking further action (that is what Todt reflects with saying there was not enough evidence – Ferrari’s defence).

    Also I am pretty sceptical of the tie in of road behaviour of drivers and their super licences.

    The way the choice of a 13th team was handled was just lame, but it showed the sport and the FIA in a bad light. Why postpone until it would have been senseless anyhow, instead of stating at the outset, that the parties involved just wanted to wait and see what would become of the newest entrants and established teams, before allowing onother new entry in?

    If you take the action taken, or lack thereoff, with the tyre situation earlier and the lack of reaction on the Korea track case (that was left to Bernie to settle) I feel the FIA fails a clear stance of what its goals and the limits of its scope should be.

    1. There is a difference between the FIA (of which he is Chairman) and the WMSC which decided what should happen in the Farrari case on team orders.

      I don’t have any problem with the FIA tiying drivers on their driving on the public highways to their super license, afterall these people are lauded for their on track skills and its not unreasonable to ask them to obey the traffic laws.

      1. I am very much aware of the fact Todt is not the same as the FIA World MotorSport Council. But the fact he did say what he said, and the time he said that, before there were any published results of the hearing are a reason for critisizing it all the more.

      2. Thanks for putting that reasoning down. It more or less mirrors my own.

        I do think Todt overall has done a lot better job than Mosley did, but in particular the way he felt the need to quote the Ferrari defense as truism just after the WMSC, even though he wasn’t involved, still showing what they were going to vote, stood out badly.

        And the new teams stuff was the same sort of sillyness of the Mosley years. Messy, and avoidable.

        1. Again, it’s worth remembering that in his early years, after taking over a very damaged FIA from a totally discredited Balestre, Mosley did a tremendous amount of first class organising.

          He never put a foot wrong in the early years and it’s an established fact that he and Ecclestone virtually created the world class series F1 is today. They didn’t get everything right first time but together they created a very robust system. Mosley should have left the scene with great honour about five years before he was eventually forced out for some appalling behaviour.

          Lets all hope that Todt saw enough of how not to do it and never allows himself to
          develop any patheic delusions.

          1. here is hoping.

    2. thats a very boldopinion ;)

      1. LOL, but it worked to quickly give an overview of his position – an executive summary, sort of ;)

      2. LOL, at first I planned to use Bold for the rest of the post, but I backed down from that as it would have been too much. :-D

  4. As an F1 fan, I approve of the way Jean Todt is handling his job as FIA President

    1. not that your at all biased ;-)

      1. I suspect his point was that it’s obvious Jean Todt is much more “our” type of F1 fan than perhaps the previous office holder was.

        His relationship to Ferrari is hilarious though, could you imagine Ron Dennis being president of the FIA?

        1. I had thought about that too. Ferrari weren’t punished, and didn’t win the Championship, but Todt seems not to allow things to some specific team, but to all of them.

    2. Sounds like an honest statement from a guy named Jean Todt. ;)

  5. Lewis Hamilton said he thought races this year had benefited from less “manipulation”.

    That’s ironic coming from the guy who was found to have lied to the Stewards in Melbourne last year to manipulate the outcome of their inquiry.

    something something cast the first stone

    1. Name not required
      29th November 2010, 11:28

      Lewis this year had benefited from Stewards’ actions. The late call in Valencia plus like a million “reprimands”. Hell, I don’t even understand what those are. Seemed to me they were made specifically for LH as others clearly did not get any of those. Nothing against Lewis, but I think they should come up with some “reprimand limit” that would be followed by a drive-through.

      1. Vettel also got them though, and it was a lot better than giving out punishments in those races. As discussed when the article with that quote was published, he was probably also teasing Alonso about Valencia with “most manipulated race” while there was Singapore a year before and then Hockenheim later in the year.

      2. Sorry but did you watch the Valencia race? Did you notice that there was a car flying through the air? Or that nearly half the feild where also punished for exceeding the speed limit under the SC and those punishments where given after the race? Or that these incidents happened at the same time….

        It seems to me the entire fuss about this is purely because the stewards didn’t jump to penailise one driver rather than investiage them all as they should have done.

        I also seem to remember there another driver given a ‘late’ punishment at the next race, but in that case that late punishment (which was given after the team/driver were repeatedly told to give the place back gained by jumping the chicane) happened to heavily punish the driver due to another safety car….

        The reality is that sometimes these things favour the driver, sometimes the penalise him…. thats just the way the cookie crumbles.

  6. Still see no convincing reason to change from Disapprove, so I’m sticking with that. Todt’s idea of reforming team orders would go too far. A responsible leader would establish a halfway house* and see how that works instead of instantly alienating a significant portion of the fanbase based on his own preference.

    *Allowing team orders when one driver is mathematically out of contention, has a better chance of winning (unless one is in the lead), or is on a different strategy.

    I find it quite interesting that the tendency for opinion to be polarised has increased as this series has gone on. Compare August and October: the approval rating was the same, but the disapproval rating has increased. Obviously that’s the effect of the WMSC hearing. Of course, a politics professor wouldn’t be surprised; I expect polarisation of opinion is a natural tendency.

    1. Allowing team orders when one driver is mathematically out of contention, has a better chance of winning (unless one is in the lead), or is on a different strategy.

      How is that at all fair?

      Massa was mathematically out of the championship when neither Red Bull or McLaren driver was. Under your rule Alonso wouldn’t have to worry about racing his team mate at that point, whereas the others would have – handing the Ferrari driver an advantage that his rivals were forbidden.

      It seems to me that in that situation you are actually punishing a team for having two similarly competitive drivers.

      Sometimes compromise is good, other times you can end up with a worse situation than either of the ‘extreme’ alternatives.

      1. I have to agree with you, I would also bring up the point about ‘being on a different strategy’ as something that could be hugely abusable by teams should they make a mind of it.

        Personally I would scrap the rule because its unworkable, and instead allow team orders but mandate a few rules:
        1) The team and drivers position regarding team orders should be written into the drivers contracts. A driver such as Jenson (who has made his views known) might demand a contract that means he should never have to give up a position to his team mate unless he is mathematically out of contention. Alonso’s team mate might have it written into his contract that he should let his team mate past, no ifs buts or maybes.

        2) These contractual agreements should be made public.

        3) Team orders should not be given by the drivers race engineer, and that they should be done in an open manner and highlighted to FOM so the relevant radio calls are broadcast.

        By implementing something along these lines it would take a lot of underhanded and unfairness out of the sport which is so damaging.

        If it had said in Rubens contract in 2002 that he had to let Schumi past, and we had all known it then it wouldn’t have seemed so offensive. If Massa had had a contract that stated he would only have to give up a position should he be out out of the championship running then he would have had the contractual right to refuse to pull over.

        This would also allow teams to be upfront and honest with their drivers, sponsors and us fans. If team Strawberry want to have a win at all cost approach to the WDC, then that should be their right as a team. If Cloud and Angry Kola Bear want to sell themselves as the ‘sportsmans’ team then good for them, and I am sure it would attract many casual fans as well as give them a better drivers line up than Strawberry who might struggle to keep top rated drivers in their 2nd car, should they have play 2nd fiddle to the premier driver.

        1. I sort of agree that this would make it a lot better, and I would just be able to know in advance not to support drivers who demanded their teammate to have a “I am faster than you” clause in their contract, but rather teams who have drivers like Button. It would still be unfair that teams who did use those orders have a a priori better chance at the WDC, although I supppose it would tend to impact on their WCC chances with a lame 2nd driver.

          1. Swings and round abouts, but as long as teams have more than one car (something that I would hate to disappear) there will always be the ‘threat’ of team orders.

            I just think the sport should acknowledge this and get on with it. As long as fans aren’t being lied to and drivers aren’t being forced into obeying against their wishes and contracts I personally don’t have a problem with it…. I will just despire teams and drivers who demand preferntial treatment and celebrate the victories of teams and drivers who don’t even more because I feel they have been more sportsman about it.

  7. Liked the way he issued a measured, low-key response to Vettel’s championship and the team orders, a week or so after the Abu Dhabi race. No attempt to grab headlines like Max or Bernie would, and sensible words too I thought.

    I’d like to see a rule though, as some F1 luminaries are suggesting now, limiting team orders, switcheroos and manipulated results to the last quarter of the season – the last five of those 20 races.

    1. if that rule had been in place this season then we would have ended up with exactly the same farce in Germany this season…. Where Ferrari quite clearly instructed Massa via a coded message (so cunning it might have maybe fooled Captain Mannering or Her Flick but no one else) to let his team mate past…. then pretended that they had done no such thing, resorting to the threat of dragging F1 through a hugely damaging and embarassing scandal when it became apparent that they had fooled precisely no one.

      Any ‘solution’ has to stop this kind of farce from happening again, rather than make a song and dance about making things better whilst setting the scene for the same thing to happen down the road.

  8. Considering how Todt has operated transparently compared to how Mosley ran things, publicly threatening or slandering teams/individuals and how things were constantly “leaked”, he has got to have enormous approval. The FIA as well as stewards rarely got involved and that was great change of pace. There was near zero political issues grabbing the headlines, it was back to being about racing (team orders aside but if you’re against them, you’re supporting a ridiculous rule. Its not your hundreds of millions invested, let the teams do as they want).

  9. I voted disapprove for the very first time, because of the interview he gave on team orders. This doesn’t seem to have hit the fan much here on F1F, but he basically said that the only reason people were upset at Austria 2002 was that Rubens didn’t move over fast enough and if you follow that logic, what he’s basically saying is that the only problem with Hockenheim was how Massa handled the situation. Actually his logic is contradictory because he’s implying that #2s not only have the responsibility to give up a winning position, but also owe it to the team to make sure they do in such a way that it isn’t too flagrant – yet he’s against deceiving the fans…. . He wants to do away with the ban on team orders and he seems to have conveniently convinced himself that fans won’t mind. Thumbs down.

    1. Agree fully, I also was annoyed to read that, him solely blaming Barrichello and Massa, thus effectively validating the “do it cunningly and no one will have a problem” view that he is at the same time claiming to be the problem.

  10. Keith,

    Just a suggestion, but you might want to change the colours on the plot next time. Red-Green colour blind people are going to have trouble with that one. And those of us who aren’t are momentarily put off by the fact that approve isn’t green.

    Also the order is unintuitive. Neutral is conventionally placed between Positive and Negative.

  11. Not convinced that anything much has changed at all from previous regime.

    Team order debacle dealt with in a way that sets a precedent for future team orders, regardless of future rules, and next years cars, technically, will once again have a plaster where a bandage should be.

    Mr Todt must have also breathed a sigh of relief when Vettel won the championship.

  12. I Approved him but there are few things he needs to do in his second year in running.Ne needs to improve the track, mainly Tilke Drome to help improve overtaking & needs to bring the French GP back on calender.

  13. I think he did rather poorly. He clearly helped Ferrari giving them chance to fix their motor after few races. Yes other teams has also done that but not in the middle of the WDC fight.

    And Todt/FIA let Ferrari go without punishment in the Germany team order. Clearly he has stated his view after season. And he rather sees open team orders than hidden messages. Which i think is stupid, coz its team order in both cases. He just basicly said it was ok what he did to Rubens. But other teams were wrong when giving hidden team orders. (its like cheating is ok)

    With this Todts message to teams, Massa will be openly waterboy for Alonso straight from the beginning of 2011.

    I cant see Ari Vatanen doing these kind of things.

    1. I think he did rather poorly. He clearly helped Ferrari giving them chance to fix their motor after few races. Yes other teams has also done that but not in the middle of the WDC fight.

      It is in the rules that at any point, reliability (but not engine power) can be fixed/improved. That’s what Ferrari did.

  14. It has been the best year for F1 in many many years. Not so much the racing I’m talking about now, but the political side. The drivers are allowed to race again! I love it and let’s keep it up.

  15. I voted disapprove. The first six words of his quote in this article were enough for me.

  16. Good job by jean Todt all around. We can disagree with some of the decisions and positions he puts forth (no one gets a 100% approval) but you CAN’T disagree with the MANNER in which he runs things; openly. 180 degrees opposite his predator, er, um, predecessor.

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