Jean Todt, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

Four more years for Todt as no opponent comes forward

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Jean Todt is set to win another four-year term as FIA president as no opponent has come forward to contest him.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

Positive comments about Yas Marina are hard to come by:

A great shame, this track is definitely a case of what could have been. It would have been infinitely better without the silly, low-speed chicane at turns five and six because someone forgot about run-off areas at the hairpin. Same again at turns 11, 12 and 13. Mind you, I’m not that keen on the square bits around the marina and under that blob of a hotel either.

A disappointing track on which to close a season, but money talks.
@NickWyatt

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Nina Wood and Karthikeyan!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

  • Born today in 1954: Ross Brawn

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 56 comments on “Four more years for Todt as no opponent comes forward”

    1. Grosjean wanted to be a Ferrari driver, that was his justification for moving over to Haas… now he realizes that’s basically his only option forever.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        23rd November 2017, 4:10

        @fer-no65 Earlier this year he said that he would go back to Renault when they were winners. Another bridge burned.

        1. @mbr-9 Renault wouldn’t even take him on. Let’s say they win by 2021. Hulkenberg and Sainz Jr. are both more capable racing drivers than Grosjean. If they need anyone else, Rowland is an option.

      2. @fer-no65 @mbr-9
        Yes. Worth a gamble and a Renault comeback would have been entirely possible imo, but after his non-stop complaining and not adapting driving to car, I don’t expect anybody on the front half of the field wants him.

        Shame as he had real speed potential and I would have liked to see a driver from France (Ok so he’s Swiss) in the mix.

    2. The roadblock to all improvements for F1 is/was the deal that Max and Bernie cooked up that was so lopsided that Bernie took 50% of the revenue leaving 10 to 14 teams to operate on a small share of the remaining profit, this in turn lead to Liberty paying $8Billion for ownership of what began as Bernies share, that debt has to be serviced if not recovered before any further investment is possible.

      Question : How does Liberty media value the coverage they show on their own TV channels ?

      1. that debt has to be serviced if not recovered before any further investment is possible.

        Servicing that debt is not that difficult with these low interest rates.
        Even in PE investors often inject more cash after buying a business, and a strategic buyer like Liberty is even more open to do that (inject cash or forego dividends).

        In the digital marketing industry we have smart models which determine the value of views and clicks, both for current advertising income and future income streams.

        1. Besides, it’s not like they’re gonna sell F1 (eventually) for nothing, they’re gonna see that money back. It’s in Liberty’s interest to increase the value of F1. They could lose money year after year, as long as they leave the sport more valuable than they found it, they’ll still turn a profit.

          This is not even the rules of capitalism, it’s just plain economics.

          1. “They could lose money year after year … (and yet) … leave the sport more valuable than when they found it”

            Like I said, this is not a corporate finance forum.

      2. Indeed. I’ve said it before but it is too esoteric for most of this audience. F1’s fundamental problem is its capital structure: $18 billion of invested capital upon which a proper return, i.e. WACC at a minimum, must be earned.
        And what are the assets that are supported by that capital structure? Almost entirely goodwill and other intangible assets that have absolutely nothing to do with the operation of the sport. These intangible assets simply reflect the legacy of all the future value that was stripped from the sport by Bernie, Tamara, Petra, CVC, et al. We are left with a situation where promoters can’t earn a return on their races despite ticket prices that fans think are too high, independent teams operate at a loss w/o pay drivers, and only manufacturer-funded teams can’t compete for wins, dependent on the vanity of CEOs and compliant Boards stocked with lackeys.
        I know, this a F1 fan forum, not a corporate finance forum, but this is the core of the issue.

        1. You’re right that this is not a finance/economics forum; but discussing Liberty and their business structure can be enlightening to fans.

          ‘$18 billion’ is probably a typo; Liberty bought F1 for roughly $8B Enterprise Value (IIRC $4.4B equity and $4B debt)

          Having merely intangible assets is not a big issue nowadays.
          Many modern businesses run like that (e.g. Facebook). And Apple does not own many factories either; their biggest (non-cash) asset is the new HQ (which is probably ‘unsellable’). Even Coca Cola’s biggest assets are their brands (especially before they re-acquired many of the bottlers).

          1. Well, if we are going to get technical the Formula One Q3 balance sheet shows invested capital (net working capital + fixed assets) of $12 billion.
            The issue is not whether other firms have a lot of intangibles and goodwill; that’s irrelevant. The issue is that Liberty must earn – e.g., $1.0 billion for a 9% WACC – of after-tax operating profit every year to cover the capital charge. The revenue to produce that operating profit must come from fans (it all comes back to fans, whether in person, on TV, etc), and that profit is AFTER the profit sharing payments to teams to support their operating budgets.
            But this capital structure is not supporting anything associated with the racing, rather it is simply the legacy left behind by Bernie, his daughters and CVC.

    3. The 2020 PU ?, Quick thought, if they standardised the MGU-H but then allowed some variety back into the ICE layout, eg. V4, S4, S3, to race against the current V6, which must be close to its full potential by now/then, it would provide more interest to fans and an opportunity for manufacturers to differentiate themselves whilst being able to measure their ICE against a known opposition before actually showing it in public. V4 Alfa anyone ?

      1. I’ve got no idea what you just said!
        Sure sounds like you know what you’re talking about though.
        I’ll vote for ya..

      2. @hohum Which form factor are you referring to in “S3,S4”? If you mean in-line I thought the correct nomenclature was “L3,L4” etc unless you meant a different form factor, which sounds pretty exciting. Such as a “Sideways 4”! Of course I may have completely misunderstood. Wouldn’t be the first time.

        1. @baron, Pardon me, I actually meant S for Straight as in Straight 6, apparently that nomenclature is outdated and I should have used I for Inline, as in inline 4, but I, L, and 1, can easily be confused I find as in I4 (not 14). Sorry to all I confused, my point was; “variety is the spice of life” but there is very little variety in F1 nowadays.

          1. Thanks for your straight explanation.

            My preference would be a Flat 6 to join F1, preferibly from Stuttgart.

        2. @baron, in reality I doubt that you would have that much variety given that, even in formulas which had fairly open regulations, you had pretty rapid technological convergence towards a single design option that tended to prove to be the most optimal decision.

          In the early 1960’s under the 1.5 litre formula, the V8 configuration was most common – indeed, the BRM, Coventry Climax and Ferrari engines had almost identical bores, strokes and compression ratios, and extremely similar power outputs as well.

          The cheapness of the Cosworth DFV effectively killed off most competition in that era, and most of the rivals that tried to beat it couldn’t (in part because of Ford’s financial muscle in the background), whilst in the turbo era the V6 twin turbo was by far and away the most successful concept – the lack of torsional rigidity for the inline four cylinder options soon killed their competitiveness.

          After a few years, you had Honda, Ferrari, Renault, Cosworth, Motori Moderni and TAG-Porsche all using V6 twin turbo engines. BMW might have been famous for the M12, but Paul Rosche has confirmed that, pretty much right from the beginning of the project, he had been working on a V6 engine – until BMW withdrew funding for that alternative design – because he thought that a V6 was a fundamentally better design.

          As for the 3.5L and 3.0L formats that came afterwards, again we saw that most teams fairly rapidly converged on a V10 design. Ferrari did not persist with their V12 for as long as they did because they thought it was competitive – they already had a replacement V10 design lined up for the start of the 1991 season, knowing that a V12 was the wrong way to go, but had to stick with the V12 because Fiat refused to give them the necessary funds to develop a new engine. As for the V8’s, quite rapidly it became clear that the main teams using them were those who simply couldn’t afford a more competitive engine.

          It’s worth noting that most of the current manufacturers have said that, even if they had an open format under the current rules, they’d have all gone for V6 designs anyway. They never wanted the earlier inline four cylinder option which, according to Newey, was only wanted by the VW Group as a precondition of entering F1 (only for them to then back out of their agreement), and he hated the idea of the four cylinder inline engine – he made it clear that he preferred a V6 design because, when it came down to integrating it into the chassis, it was a clear winner from his point of view, and the other manufacturers also thought it was the optimal solution, so all that mandating a V6 engine did was to choose a format that the manufacturers were all going to adopt anyway.

          Egonovi, you might wish for a flat six design, but I doubt that Porsche would want to use a flat six engine if they ever wanted to enter F1. From a packaging point of view, I think it would uncompetitive with a V configuration engine (ancillaries, such as the oil pump, are easier to configure within a tighter package with a V engine) in a single seater car: there have been few attempts at a flat format engine in F1 (the Tecno Flat 12 and the Subaru Flat 12), and they’ve mostly been failures (I know some will cite Ferrari’s engines in the 312T, but technically I believe that engine is classified as a wide angle V12 rather than a true flat 12 engine).

    4. RE Williams test fro Sirotkin and Kubica (from Joe’s Blog). It might not be strictly about money. The way it looks is actually a pretty sound approach to evaluate Kubica, not consider Sirotkin. Both of them drove for Renault, so it’s a good comparison starting point for Williams – they can look at Renault test results and then their own data to make a sound conclusion.

      1. Exactly my thoughts. Not to mention that I’m quite sure they’re required by the rules to run a driver with fewer than x number of starts at these young driver tests – which would instantly rule out di Resta, Wehrlein, Kyvat and everybody else linked with that seat anyway. In which case, putting Sirotkin into the car and comparing notes from the Renault test at Hungary seems the most sensible way to go. I think people are reading too much into it.

        If it does come down to money it will be a question of how much discount Mercedes are prepared to give on engines for Wehrlein vs. how much money Martini give for having an over-25 driver – and if Martini win out then it will come down to this insurance conundrum as to whether they go with Kubica or di Resta.

    5. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd November 2017, 5:01

      Re: COTD @nickwyatt There isn’t enough runoff for F1 to go straight to the hairpin, considering the speeds they carry from turns 2-3. So the chicane is there to slow them down. It is a silly solution, though. Why not just bring the hairpin forward and make it a bit faster? That combination chicane to hairpin is incredibly awkward given that there are no restrictions there. They can draw the lines wherever they please, and that’s what they came up with.

      1. @mbr-9 You’re quite right, there isn’t enough room. With a completely blank slate and a sea of money, this is the best that they could come up with. Bring the corner back, demolish the stand, do something – anything!
        It’s quite a weird experience when you read the day’s round up and get down to COTD and realise “Just a minute, I recognise that! Good grief, I wrote that; it’s me!” Thank you to Keith, @keithcollantine.

        1. It should be pointed out that the sole rationale given for the turn 5 hairpin was to slow get the grand stands close to the hair pin.
          I agree that we shouldn’t sacrifice racing quality for on-track viewing experience, but ah well, at least there’s a reason why it’s there.
          And it’s not like they can’t easily resurface the track there, there’s plenty of room to do it with a couple of million dollars.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            23rd November 2017, 21:02

            @rahnarlsmenves That’s a sensible reason, but given how much of the track that can be seen from the hairpin’s grandstands (from turn 2 to the chicane on the back straight) I question the specific need for that slow section.

    6. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd November 2017, 5:09

      @ Di Grassi’s tweet – Halo really isn’t the way forward. The FIA did the right thing after Bianchi’s crash by implementing the VSC as well as red-flagging qualifying and practice sessions for crashes.

      But since 2009 the only thing they’ve done regarding head protection is increase the durability of helmets after Massa’s Hungary accident. They keep claiming they’re researching head protection solutions, so the Halo is what they have to show for it.

      1. But only safety that makes sense, Halo for example, I don’t think it is the correct path forward.

        Safety that only makes sense is a highly subjective subject. Who decides what makes sense? Accountants, for example, might consider cheap safety as making sense. In this case the FIA decided they have a responsibility to those who race cars to ensure they enjoy their racing without fear of serious injury or death. After a very through investigation, the FIA decided cheap safety doesn’t make sense, and that Halo makes the most sense at this time.

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        23rd November 2017, 9:31

        With Todt being re-elected in addition to the Halo coming up again, I’m reminded of Will Buxton’s article on the Halo. He talks about how the Halo was forced through while other head protection solutions were barely given a chance, how 9/10 F1 teams are against the Halo, and how the FIA have used the Halo politically.
        http://www.racer.com/more/viewpoints/item/142478-buxton-halo-goodbye?showall=&limitstart=1

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          23rd November 2017, 9:58

          Feels to me like a bit of a power play in the Liberty/FIA dynamic.
          Oh you paid for a premium product? Let us ruin that for you to show you we can. Safety first!!!

        2. Much as I hate the halo, I don’t think the fia has much choice. After the bianchi accident, the lawyers undoubtedly said, if someone gets hurt on the head in an fia f1 event, you will get sued for negligence. Is it political, yes, everything in f1 is. Heaven forbid an accident happens, and a driver is hurt on head, all those who are complaining about the halo been adopted now, would be complaining about why it was not done earlier.

          1. Yes, that’s exactly right. It isn’t as though F1 has been injury free for many years, in which case they might have had a flimsy defence of “We didn’t think this could happen”.

          2. And if a driver gets injured because of Halo? What happens then, given the total mess that was made of the attempt to justify its implementation and that parts of the justification provided have already been demonstrated as being false?

            The way the FIA has gone about this, it can’t win (unless it can magically prevent anyone from getting a head injury whilst still providing racing of a type everyone would accept – and if it could do so, it would have done it already).

          3. Sorry, don’t agree the FIA didn’t have much choice – they had the choice to keep the 10 ton block of steel crane off the race course. They could have red flagged the race when that industrial crane crossed the safety barriers. And Jules could have obeyed the double yellows. And they could have delayed the race as requested by teams, but resisted by the race promoter. So much could have been done – in hindsight.

            One thing is clear tho – the Halo would not have saved Jules. No head protection or canopy could. The halo was designed to deflect attention from track operations safety to vehicle safety.

    7. That’s a fine assessment from KMag abut his own team strength and weakness.

    8. The Toad should be fired. With him at the helm, its more favorable Ferrari calls and cheating by the FIA. Just this year, Seb was allowed to hit Lewis multiple times with no penalty. Baku twice and Mexico once. Yet people still make excuses for him. I am so glad Vettel lost the title. Hamilton passed Seb cleanly on track multiple times this year.

      1. You mean the mercedes engine passed the ferrari engine cleanly on track multiple times this year.
        For sure. Two wins for Bottas, no wins for Raikkonen.
        Also, Vettel hit Hamilton multiple times? You make it sound like he did it multiple times on purpose. Hamilton, on the other hand, confirmed by the stewards, brake checked Vettel twice on Baku, which is what Vettel accused him of doing, and the stewards confirmed it “Hamilton did the same thing in both safety car periods” they said.
        Bullcrap. Hamilton can be magnanimous and fair when it suits him, but he can be just as dirty and dirtier than Vettel when he needs to. Last year’s finale anyone? Or all the times he pushed Rosberg off the track? Or all the times he’s acted like a kicked puppy when Rosberg did the same to him in retaliation?
        This sort of uneducated viewership is the reason why he could pull it off. He just whines and complains and sneers and people at him of course agree with the triple world champion. He must know better.

        1. @rahnarlsmenves Just a sprinkle of irrational bias with a pinch of intense dislike? It’s not a good recipe my friend..

      2. Vettel gets away with some of the most dangerous driving I’ve seen in F1 – he always expects the other driver to back down and avoid a collision, sometimes with a wall.

        The incident at Baku pretty much gave Vettel carte blanche to do anything he wants on track. Fortunately, it ended up costing him and Ferrari dearly but nothing really in terms of a punishment from the FIA.

      3. Jean Todt can’t be fired, as it’s not a regular job. There are methods of removal, which are as follows:

        1) Someone defeats him in an election. This was the opportunity for the next four years (like the USA government, there’s no provision for fresh elections if a successful candidate cannot do the complete term for any reason). Nobody has submitted an application, so there won’t be an election.

        2) Jean is persuaded to withdraw his candidacy before the election next month. This is extremely unlikely given that he’s the only candidate and he cares about what happens to the FIA (there’s no clear contingency plan in the Statutes if an elected position has zero eligible candidates willing to accept it).

        3) Jean is declared ineligible to stand, or else becomes ineligible to serve during his tenure. The former… …if it was going to happen, we’d probably have heard about it. The latter is at least theoretically plausible; I am not aware of anything that would cause Jean’s removal, but the FIA’s respective reaction to Max Mosley v News of the World compared with… …pretty much everything else that could have caused a President to lose their position, shows such things can never be guaranteed. Either of these would require 35 days’ notice for the relevant committee to look at the evidence and then for every single FIA Delegate to vote (it’s a majority vote system for something like this).

    9. Unopposed?! Why didn’t someone tell me, I’ll replace him. Where’s the application form?

      Damn, a goldfish could do a better job…

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        23rd November 2017, 9:32

        You’d get vetoed by Ferrari, surely.

        1. Aha… love it!

        2. Ha-ha-ha

        3. Good point… :/

      2. The application form is only accessible to eligible candidates. This is the procedure to become an eligible candidate (since it’s theoretically possible you, or someone else reading this, could be ready in time for the 2021 elections):

        1) Join your local NSA (National Sporting Authority) or touring authority. An NSA is the organisation which regulates national-level racing in your country (if your nation is too small to have any self-hosted racing – applicable to places like Luxembourg and some Caribbean islands), request the NSA of a neighbouring/nearby nation permission to join. Nearly all nations have a touring organisation, which helps promote safe driving on the roads. In some countries, the NSA and touring organisation are identical.

        2) Apply for a form to be an officer in your local NSA/touring organisation. I imagine the competitiveness of such positions would vary. The electorate here is simply all members of the NSA – the FIA has no right to interfere unless it notes an irregularity that the NSA/touring organisation does not then correct.

        3) Get elected as such an officer, do whatever job is assigned to the post well and get to know the other officers.

        4) Apply for a form to become your NSA/touring organisation’s delegate to the FIA. This is really important because FIA delegates are the only people eligible to be elected FIA President. It’s possible, if an NSA’s opinion of a president is low enough, that they may elect someone on the ticket of a presidential attempt, though good old-fashioned belief that you will work in the NSA/touring organisation’s best interests is a much more likely course. At least one NSA/touring organisation officer must second your nomination, and the election is done according to the NSA/touring organisation’s rules (not sure whether the election is done across the whole NSA/touring organisation, just the officers, or if it varies according to the group).

        5) Win that election, do your job well, get to know the other FIA delegates… …especially the 21 other people who will form your cabinet. You have about 180 to choose from, though this varies slightly; organisations that don’t pay their dues aren’t eligible to have their delegates be involved in presidential elections, and there’s always the possibility a new nation becomes an FIA member, or an NSA/touring organisation divides or combines. The cabinet people are important because you have to assign each of these people a position, get their signatures agreeing to this, and then submit the form. (In case you are wondering, the rule came in for the 2005 election, in an attempt to get more support for whichever President got the nod).

        6) Now you can download the form to apply for the FIA Presidential election. The FIA delegates have the votes, with the current president having the casting vote in the extremely unlikely event of a tie (I think there’s a clause that says someone else gets the casting vote if the incumbent is also a candidate). Ferrari can’t veto you because their veto only applies to regulations in the F1 rulebooks, not people… …but ask Max Mosley what happens to your personal electability if all the F1 teams refuse to work with you.

        7) Try not to do anything that gets the ire of the current President on you during your campaign. If an irregularity is noted, the current President is perfectly entitled to invoke procedure against you, which will inevitably reduce your electability, even if you were 100% justified in your actions. Note: if you are standing because you have a problem with the current President’s policies, this may prove… …difficult.

        8) Get elected as President, celebrate, do your job well, and try not to do anything that makes anyone else feel obliged to go through this rigmarole.

    10. No 2-term limit at FiA?
      No voting by, for example, teams competing in the FiA sanctioned championships?
      Only voting by various vested-interest groups, for whom racing is just an afterthought while they’re trying to make money off of their respective countries’ sports and infrastructure funds.

      And we wonder why everything regarding F1 is so rotten.
      It’s ran by FiA and FOM, and you couldn’t decide which of those two entities is more self-serving.

      1. It’s a bit like one of the old Chinese systems (The Mandate of Heaven); Presidents may govern for an unlimited amount of time, but if they do something that makes their position completely untenable, they can be removed (with 35 days’ notice to get the Extraordinary General Assembly organised).

        No votes for anyone who is not an FIA delegate (from either a National Sporting Authority or a Touring Authority – the former govern national-level racing under FIA supervision, the latter help with road safety promotion), because officially the FIA President is the representative of those delegates to the international series. No FIA delegate owns a F1 team, as that would be a conflict of interest. (I think it may be possible at lower levels of the organisation, but not for FIA delegates).

    11. So Todt gets another 4 years. How dad that this guy who has brought nothing of any note to F1, should unopposed.
      If he didn’t do it in 8 years how can he expect to make any difference in the next 4.
      New blood fresh ideas are needed.

      1. Either there are no fresh ideas among the other FIA delegates, or they cannot get the cabinet together that they need to stand (these days, delegates effectively are voting for a whole 22-person governing cabinet, not just a President).

    12. I love the press release by NBC patting themselves on the back for their “outstanding performance” delivering F1 to an American audience. They better keep the windows closed at 30 Rockefeller Center otherwise they’ll hear the cheering of one million American F1 fans when they learn NBC will no longer be broadcasting F1. Of course, it will be even worse when ESPN takes over but that’s another story

    13. Between Brawn and Todt in executive positions in F1, we simply need Domenicali and Luca Di Montezemolo to replace Charlie Whiting and Chase Carey to have a full Red House.

      Wasn’t Gunther Steiner asking for a full time steward – I’d like to nominate Sergio Marchionne :-)

      If they want other teams to join, they can’t have these people in charge. They can hold advisory or lobbying positions but they can’t be in charge.

      It’s business 101 especially when you are asking for a $1 billion investment.

      1. @freelittlebirds, so Ross Brawn has worked for Honda and Mercedes since he last worked for Ferrari 11 years ago, as well as having worked for what is now the Renault works team, yet the sole appointment you define him by is his role at Ferrari?

        There have been those who have accused Brawn of influencing the rules to Mercedes’s advantage when he was on the Technical Working Group that came up with the current regulation package, and similarly those who have accused Todt of giving Mercedes too much free reign within the sport. Meanwhile, only a few years ago we had people complaining that the FIA were letting Red Bull get away with cheating, ranging from flexible floors, wings and nosecones through to the “hot blowing” engine maps for the exhausts.

        Equally, it is not as if Ferrari haven’t been hit hard at times by technical rulings by the FIA – the ruling on the consumption of oil this season, along with the restriction to just one type of engine oil, was reportedly targeted at Ferrari, and they were the ones who were instructed by the FIA to make the most changes to their car too (most notably removing the secondary oil tank).

        It feels as if, whatever your affinities, somebody else will accuse them too much in favour of Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull or whatever other major team that person is opposed to or wants to criticise. It feels like a role where, whatever their background and however they do, they will always be someone who wants to criticise them for something.

        1. yup and not to mention Brawn now works for Liberty, and Chase Carey has only just begun too and is not going anywhere I would think. Anyway…a silly notion. Of course we do know though that any time a team has dominated for too long the regs can get changed to try to upset that apple cart and bring in a new team to beat. I’m guessing Liberty would rather not have these runs of one team dominating if they can help it, and rather have a better balance amongst the teams, including the lesser ones, such that there is more than just one dominant team and then the rest, year after year, even if that dominant team changes once in a while.

        2. If it was just Brawn, that would not be suspicious at all, given that as you say he’s worked for at least half the teams/manufacturers on the current grid.

          The issue is that multiple senior F1-facing positions have Ferrari as their one connecting link. However, the methods by which they got there are completely independent of one another. If they start issuing Ferrari-biased decisions, it might be worth crying foul, but so far their actions have been anti-Ferrari, if anything (rejecting Aeroscreen – a Ferrari idea, doubling down on engine limits, trying to make DRS less of a factor…)

    Comments are closed.