Jean Todt’s Approval Rating 2011: Part 1

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

F1 Fanatic looks 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 FIA had little to say about the situation in Bahrain which led to the postponement of the first race of 2011.

In a letter to the media last week Todt said: “As you all know, on advice from the Bahrain Motor Federation we have had to skip the inaugural Grand Prix in that country due to severe social unrest.

“We have asked our Bahraini colleagues to inform us by May 1st on whether the race can take place. We wish then well in their ongoing attempts to resolve their issues.”


Nor has the FIA shown any sign of intervening in the dispute between Renault and Lotus, who are locked in dispute over the right to use the name ‘Lotus’.

Despite the confusion, the FIA appear content to refer to both teams using the name ‘Lotus’. Their 2011 F1 season guide refers to them as “Lotus Renault GP” and “Team Lotus”.

The high court will begin to hear the dispute between the two teams tomorrow.

Circuits Commission

The FIA Circuits Commission is to examine F1 tracks “to identify the possibility of increasing the opportunities for overtaking.”

Tyre testing and safety car rules

In order to allow Pirelli to develop new tyres, a new rule announced earlier this month will allow teams to use extra sets of development tyres at Fridays on race weekends.

There have also been some changes to the safety car rules, and special pit lane visits for race track marshals, explained in the link below.

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 (37%)
  • Approve (47%)

Total Voters: 228

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

Jean Todt?s Approval Ratings

Jean Todt Approval rating January-December 2010
Jean Todt Approval rating January-December 2010
DateApproveDisapproveNo opinion
December 201053%34%13%
November 201071%18%11%
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%

The Jean Todt Approval Rating was a monthly feature in 2010. It is being run quarterly during 2011.

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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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81 comments on “Jean Todt’s Approval Rating 2011: Part 1”

  1. 4 pot turbos… massive fail!

    1. if the 4 pot turbo sounds as good & if the cars are as fast? how does it matter?

      1. The problem is it’s a known fact they won’t sound as good. Why do you think Mr Bernie is so against it??

  2. Totaly disaprove its a Ferrari Fan … Team Order suck !

  3. Bahrain, massive fail!

    1. And most sadly so. That may 1st limit even might have been one of the factors for deciding to crush opposition with force lately.
      I still have grudges against him for failing to stand by the FIAs rulebook against Ferrari.

      But I voted no opinion, as I like the extra tyres being allowed on Friday and the circuit commission.
      The Lotus matter does not offer anything positive about Todt, he might at least have called for them to solve the matter end of last year/during the winter, or maybe even offered medaition. But it is not his responsibility, just a missed opportunity.

      1. I forgot the Lotus matter…. Massive fail

      2. I suspect the troubles they have there run deeper than just whether or not host a race. I can’t imagine it would have any impact on how the government has since decided to act.

    2. I have to agree on Bahrain. That was my main reason for voting disapprove this time. I’m actually glad the FIA haven’t weighed in on the Lotus drama, when it’s yet to have been heard in court. Bahrain however, has gotten to a point where it’s really silly to even be considering a postponed race there later in the year. To leave the safety of the entire F1 circus in the hands of Bernie “sell your mother to make a buck” Ecclestone is really unacceptable.

    3. FIA had no role to play, since crown prince cancelled on hi own…

  4. FFW during races… Massive fail!

    1. I see the term I coined is being put to good use.

      1. Like Keith said, ” I think it’s going to stick”

      2. Lol nice name Sush. Alex you know you’re an F1Fanatic fanatic when you use technical names for F1 car parts that other fanatics invented :P

        1. Maybe we should aks Keith to add a “F1Fanatic lingo” to the FAQ part of the site ;-)

    2. What is FFW?

      1. “Flippy Flappy” Wing. It’s a Sush Meerkat creation :)

        1. LOL, nice.

  5. a Ferrari Boy, dis-aprove!!

  6. Hmmm, I dont really have an opinion this time round, as with much of last year. Every time Todt made two steps forward with one issue, he made two steps back with another issue.

    I dont see what the Lotus dispute has to do with the FIA. They’re just there to make sure the teams follow the regulations and are supposed to enforce the rules fairly (I know some may beg to differ). The Lotus debate is a commercial debate, which probably requires FOM and Bernie’s involvment rather than the FIA and Todt’s.

    The Bahrain problem was largely a commercial dispute, although I feel that he FIA should have said no before the Crown Prince called the race off.

    The move to bring more tyres to the friday test is a pretty good idea, although couldnt this also be detremental? These tyres will probably fall apart at a similar rate, creating more marbles off the racing line than otherwise will have been created without. I know it improves the spectacle, but it may not be too beneficial.

  7. wish we had approval ratings for everything in modern life..

    but for todt, i still don’t really rate him.. i mean, he’s not bad, but i don’t really like the way he dropped the ban on team orders, and went so light on ferrari..

    1. I pretty much agree on both accounts Steve.

    2. wish we had approval ratings for everything in modern life..

      I approve 100% of having an approval rating for everything.

      I give this morning’s coffee a 78% approval rating.

      but for todt, i still don’t really rate him.. i mean, he’s not bad, but i don’t really like the way he dropped the ban on team orders, and went so light on ferrari..

      I like what Dede (Red Bull boss) said about team orders, he’d prefer to win without manufacturing outcomes.

      1. Then dede should make sure the factory manufacture two parts… LOL ROFLCOPTER

        1. Indeed and maybe the teamboss shouldn’t keep on announcing that they are building the team around Vettel.

          1. I thought this pole was for the decisions hes made recently and not the ones hes already done?

          2. It’s what your opinion is of his performance at this point in time. How you reach that decision is up to you.

      2. That’s pretty good coffee this morning then, for a Monday morning!

        As for Red Bull, it sounds good, but they seem to struggle a bit with getting that vision into the whole team management.

  8. One the one hand, Todt can be lambasted on some counts for “doing nothing”. On the other hand, he can be commended for “staying out of things he can’t fix”. As a breakdown,

    Bahrain: Wading into a political situation is a lose-lose situation. That whole area of the world is undergoing massive strife, and F1 races are small beer in comparison. All those complaining about the FIA “making a stand” and calling off the race would be better off looking at what stand they’re making on behalf of the people of Bahrain, or any other country with a poor human rights record that F1 travels to. (I’m willing to bet it’s “sitting around on their **** doing nothing and occasionally talking”). I don’t like the silence from the FIA, but I accept that the Bahrain situation is not the same as the South Africa situation.

    Lotus Lotus Lotus Lotus Lotus Lots Renault Renault Mushroom Mushroom Snake! He’s right, let the courts sort it out. The teams are entered on the sheet, use the names that are on the sheet. There’s no benefit to the FIA getting involved in that one, and you can bet that his predecessor would have stuck his oar in as far is it would go.

    Circuits: There’s a very simple test for this one. If the FIA bring drivers into the discussion, and listen to them, then Todt gets the points. If not, he’s an incompetent muppet of the highest order.

    Rule Changes: Development Tyre rules good, SC rules still bad. The cramped design of the pits is as much to blame for potential accidents however. In terms of “stupid rules”, why not introduce a quota system to the issue of pitting during the SC? 5 drivers at a time into the pit lane, the first 5 drivers to hit the button on their steering wheel go in first. Or get their race engineer to do it.

    1. Lotus Lotus Lotus Lotus Lotus Lots Renault Renault Mushroom Mushroom Snake!

      For one night only, I love you, Hairs.

      1. One night of my loving’s all you’ll need to be a changed man.

        1. first 5 drivers to hit the button on their steering wheel go in first. Or get their race engineer to do it.

          If that rule comes in, no-one is going to want to be a race engineer! :P Imagine Rob Smedley losing Felipe Massa the championship…

          1. NOOOOOOO! I would hate that, as he would immediately lose his job (and Massa his only a race later, by failing to turn in for lack of being reminded).

            Or maybe someone else pick them both up and please us all?

    2. Internet meme + F1 = w1n

  9. Disapprove, because of his recent statement about driver numbers. I think think F1 needs the same system as NASCAR.

    1. I think don’t think F1 needs the same system as NASCAR.

      PS: I agree with LcD59c and Last Pope Eye because I still think it was not the right decision to “Let Michael pass for the championship” back in 2001.

    2. I kinda like the idea. It would be nice if ‘1’ followed the champion and then all other drivers simply got to pick a number every year. But at the same time the current system is appealing, having the champion and then teams all clearly ranked. Having larger numbers should definately be enforced though I think.

      1. I like the current numbering system, it’s simple and easy to understand. I agree about enforcing large numbers on the cars, that would make them much easier to identify than having to look for helmets, or remembering if yellow t-bar or red t-bar means a lower number…

  10. Personally I voted approve. Though admittedly, I nearly voted no opinion, as he hasn’t really done that much this year thus far. The FiA were barely involved in the Bahrain decision (at least, not publicly) and I don’t believe that they should be involved with any inter-team politics (i.e. the lotus scandal).

    I voted approve though because I think that the circuits commission can only be a good thing and that the change of Friday tyre rules is good for the spectators.

    1. My beef would be that he said nothing…

      1. Bigbadderboom
        20th March 2011, 12:47

        Agree, although everybody was critical of Max for seeking out the limelight and attention whenever the opportunity arose. There is middle ground though and we should be seeing and hearing more fom Mr Todt.

  11. I voted disapprove. The FIA dilly-dallied for too long before pulling the plug on Bahrain, the Lotus saga has been dragging all through the winter and there’s no clear solution in sight. Plus the DRS rules allow backmarkers to unlap themselves (I’m still somewhat undecided on this one)

    About the only sensible decision was to let Pirelli test new compounds on Friday. A bit of a no-brainer since in-season testing is banned.

    I’m not sure how much a Circuits Commission can achieve with the existing snoozefest tracks like Abu Dhabi and Valencia. Maybe they can be a bit more proactive as far as the Sochi and Austin tracks are concerned. Here’s hoping they turn out well like Sepang or Istanbul Park.

    1. I think in regards to Bahrain, the FIA was always going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. So it’s a bit harsh to hold that one against him.

    2. “Lotusgate”. That’s the new official name (according to me anyway). Isn’t that how you name controversies?

      If I wanted to go really far I could say “Fernandoisfasterthanyougate” for Hockenheim. :D
      Or “Protestorgate” for the Bahrain situation.

      1. “Fernandoisfasterthanyougate”

        You are a genius.

      2. LOL, now that is the biggest “gate” around (I’m afraid to say it – Fernandoisfasterthanyougate).

  12. Perhaps it is because I grew up with FISA/FIA Presidents like Jean-Marie Balestre and Max Mosely, but I find Jean Todt’s inability to make public statements quite alarming at times. Sometimes his silence is a good thing, heping to prevent situations from escalating beyond control, but in the case of Bahrain and “Lotus vs Lotus” I just felt that Todt needed to step up and put our minds at ease.

    Disapprove, but I like the Circuits Commission and the Tyre Testing initiative.

  13. I approved this time around on the 4 points mentioned

    1. waited for bahrain to make the call He also wants the race to go ahead for the sake of the sport but he did not interfere in the politics

    2. Lotus dispute – he is keeping out of it let the courts decide if the two teams cannot come to an agreement in fact it is a sponsor and team and not 2 teams as Renault is as yet to be sold to Proton

    3. Track commission a good thing

    4.Tyre testing a good thing a bit unsure about how to interpreted the safety car issue

    Points not mentioned
    1. Driver numbers a positive for me
    2. visit to grassroots level motor sport clubs in Africa a big Positive come to Africa without a GP on the continent

    1. 1. waited for bahrain to make the call He also wants the race to go ahead for the sake of the sport but he did not interfere in the politics

      For the sake of the sport? There have been people dying there over politics… But by all means… run your race.

      No one in F1 is “A Political”.

      1. In China people die for politics too. Has been that way for years.

        Why are politics all of a sudden so important to some people?

        Obviously you cannot have a race in a warzone, but “politics” really is not a reason to cancel a race.

        1. Because China has money.

          Whilst the money flows, happy the tyrant knows.

        2. But going to Bahrain, right when it’s happening would be like going to China for the first race in 1990 right after Tianminen-square.

  14. My first approve ever.
    Bahrain is a mess, and it’s bad for the people what happens there. However, I think it’s good that FIA, nor FOM, nor FOTA didn’t voice an opinion. Sport is sport and politics is politics. And it was inevitable that it wouldn’t go through.

    On Lotus, I think they should’t do anything about it. It’s a legal dispute and it should be kept at that. They are consistent, as in they call them Renault and Lotus in the overview which also has McLaren in it and Lotus Renualt and Team Lotus in the overview which says Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

    On the circuits, one might argue too little too late, but I think it’s good that more and more people voice their concerns about tracks which don’t allow for good races. Bring in some fresh (re-)designing blood.

    Extra tyre testing is also good, and well, the safety car rules are still not good, but you can’t have it all.

    1. Sport is sport, politics is politics…really?! What about the sporting sanctions on South Africa during Apartheid? International pressure, whatever form it takes, helps in situations like these.

      1. F1 continued racing in South Africa then too.

        1. But they stopped the sports that mattered to the country, Cricket and Rugby…

          1. Ah, I thought this was an F1 forum. My mistake.

          2. LOL, are you saying F1 does/did not matter in SA! SHOCKING

            But I very much agree with you, and i think most Bahraini would agree with us as well in 10 or so years.

  15. A mixed bag for Todt at the moment.

    He seems to say what he thinks the fans want to hear, but hasn’t backed it up with much action.

    On the other hand, most fans didn’t like team orders, and yet he removed that ban. He then said that he thinks the drivers should be able to be more easily identified – so what is more important, the driver or the team?

  16. Disaprove. Lack of action and unwillingness to make a decision reagrding Bahrain demonstrated weekness on the part of the FIA.
    I think the same can be said for the Lotus dispute, again lacking strength in not helping to resolve the issues which reflect upon the sport.
    Can’t help that the Circuit Commission initiative sounds like “a job for the boys” scenario which is unlikely to yeild any fruit.
    Get some balls Mr Todt, let’s here some of YOUR opinions and the thoughts which shape the FIA and our beloved F1.
    Feeling cynical today!!

  17. Approve
    He’s doing a fine job.
    They’ve reacted to the tire degradation issues by adjusting the tire limit rules, stayed clear of team scwabbles, and have cusioned themselves properly with the DRS so that it can be fine tuned or scrapped altogether if it fails. Also, I know I’m going to get alot of slack for this but, I’m still admire that he had the balls to get rid of the ‘team orders’ rule even though his approval rating would suffer.

  18. Damn! Why does this page log me out each time I load it??
    Does Jean Todt fear that I might disapprove him?

    1. What browser are you using? Or maybe restart it?

  19. For many reasons no.

  20. Bahrain was more Bernie’s thing, but the FIA was practically silent, not a good thing.

    I go for No Opinion, give him a fresh start for the new season.

  21. Didn’t make the poll in time, but would have voted approve if I had.

    He’s not Max!!!!! And he continues to be a pragmatic, hands- off manager who shows no signs of control freakery, partisan bias and self regard, which is what his predecessor was all about. He just trusts people to do their jobs and steps in as needed, which is what proper management is about.

    After years of Max sticking his nose into every exchange, Todt is such a breath of fresh air.

    1. Yes, he’s not Max. Shouldn’t we hold him to a higher standard especially for that reason? After all he was very successful as a team boss both in F1 and in rallying. Todt is capable of much more while still maintaining a low profile (by Max’s standards).

  22. The track commission is a good thing. I disapprove though on number of things. Ferrari team orders badly managed, small turbo engine’s(should be sacked for even suggesting it), the whole DRS gimmick.

  23. I just about approve, I think they should have intervened with the whole Lotus situation but I imagine that would be quite tricky to do legally. The other big things are Bahrain and tyre testing, and I think they called it right on both accounts.

    1. As much as they could have intervened, they would ultimately end up showing bias towards a particular team and that would only make things worse.

  24. I’ve approved this time around.

    Bahrain and their politics are none of FIA’s business. The only thing that needed to be done was to assure the safety of the competitors which was not the case at the time of the race. Todt gave them time to see if a race could be held safely and that’s all they needed to do.

    Same thing for Lotus, really. FIA is not up to decide which team is allowed to bear the Lotus name. Especially since the courts are not going to reach such a decision either. That would be sheer arbitrariness.

    Only thing that bothers me a bit are the safety car rules. I still think we should allow lapped cars to take back a lap. That could help racing more than some other ideas mentioned.

  25. All you have to do to decide if Jean Todt is doing a good job or not is compare him to Max Mosely. I particularly like the fact that he doesn’t flap his mouth off about everything. I think he is doing a great job.

  26. Wow, I thought I was in a minority.

    A part of me thinks he could have handled the Lotus situation better but then again, I wouldn’t think it the FIA’s job to sort that out, that’s why it’s gone to the courts. It doesn’t bring the sport into disrepute, if anything it makes more people take notice.

    Good move on the tyres, clearly developing the tyres, or at least having the option is sensible.

    And I think the introduction of DRS is good.

  27. I wonder what is approval rating will be when the 2013 technical regulations finally get published?

    Passive Snail!

    1. Dread to think!

  28. Even considering 4cylinder engines for 2013 is a massive fail. Disprove!

  29. HounslowBusGarage
    20th March 2011, 20:00

    Hmmm. Tricky.
    By this time we should have had a Grand Prix and been able to make a decision whether the FFW is a good or bad thing. But Bahrain was cancelled and Charlie Whiting came out with the ‘clarification’ of the FFW rules after the Bahrain should have taken place, which doesn’t look as thought the FIA have actually thought this one through.
    I think JT is wise to leave the Lotus, Lotii, Lotuses problem to the courts and to concentrate on things he can really work on. But unless he has been like the proverbial swan (all serenity above water, but legs going like mad underwater), his reticence to announce and pronounce might look like a dereliction of duty.
    Me, I’m sitting rather uncomfortably on the fence.

  30. HounslowBusGarage
    20th March 2011, 20:12

    Actually, I shopuld have addressed JT’s planning for the future of F1 as well.
    I’m perfectly happy for F1 2013 to be 1600 cc turbos. It’s what you do with it that counts, not the size of it. To quote the missus “size isn’t everything”.
    Back in the early ’80’s there were immensely powerful turbo engines of sub two litres that produced speactaular racing- and sound! So I’m not unhappy with the return to one and a half litre F1 engines.
    Far more worrying are this years’ tyres. If the FIA is happy with a fast-degrading set of tyres that throw off large amounts of marbles (which inhibit overtaking), I think they are mistaken.
    The next approval rating will be crucial as we should have had about five races by then.
    And Keith, thanks for releasing me from “Your comment is awaiting moderation”; I promise not to type rude words again.

  31. Todt is a Ferrari man.

  32. I clicked approve for 2 reasons. The new engine formula, while potentially lacking on the sound front compared to the v10 and v8 na engines, is a step forward in line with modern technology for the future. Imagine what engineers in F1 will be doing with these things in 5 years time…

    The second main reason is the investigation into circuits and overtaking on them. This is the first look at challenging the status quo that Mosley created in circuit design. We may see an easing on track design restrictions such as gradient changes – a thing that I know is a major differentiator between old classic circuits and the new flat paddocks we all bemoan.

    I reserve the right to change my mind, but atm I’m all for Todt’s way of running things – including staying out of international politics. Best leave that to the UN and Bono. :P

  33. Bahrain was a good call but he needs to work on 2013 Engine regulation.

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