Todt pays heartfelt tribute to Schumacher his FIA presidency ends

2021 F1 season

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Outgoing FIA president Jean Todt said his thoughts were with his former driver Michael Schumacher after his leadership of the sports’ governing body was commemorated at last night’s FIA prizegiving ceremony in Paris.

Elections to replace Todt, who has been president since 2009, will take place today.

The 75-year-old, who recently championed the introduction of a low-cost line of crash helmets, was presented with an example of one signed by the world champions of all FIA categories during his three term as president.

An emotional Todt said he was “speechless” as he addressed the attendees. The former Ferrari team principal, who with Schumacher won six constructors championship and five drivers title, said he was thinking of his friend who suffered serious brain injuries in a skiing crash eight years ago this month.

“I mean to be very sincere, I miss Michael tonight with us,” said Todt. “Because he is part of my life, he will always be, and we have been building so many things together because we have been suffering together and that made us stronger.”

Recalling his election to the presidency Todt said: “12 years back – tomorrow we will have elections – each candidate was invited to have six people with him to support the election. I remember 12 years back I had three people with me: My wife, Michael and my son. And that’s something I will never forget.”

Todt he’s “quite happy to have this chapter over” after concluding his third term as president. “I’ve been 12 years, it’s a long time. I mean doing the job the way I did it it’s demanding.

“I think it’s very good that the FIA will get fresh blood, fresh team. Amongst the legacy I leave, I leave an amazing team and the team is able to continue to deliver the job with the new elected team.

“Of course I still have the same passion,” he added. “I’m blessed. I love motor racing, I will still follow motor racing.”

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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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21 comments on “Todt pays heartfelt tribute to Schumacher his FIA presidency ends”

  1. i watched that speech by this old guy and found it strange AND MISPLACED..

    1. We see the hand steering the course to maintain Schumacher’s legacy, Masi was just a tool.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        17th December 2021, 8:56

        Yeah, I mentioned Todt’s relationship to Schumacher and while that’s great, it’s not a good reason to alter the results of a championship.

        As I said, Schumacher would never have wanted that and the Abu Dhabi race was worthy of an 8th championship. I can’t think of a better way for Michael to pass the baton to another driver. Todt clearly disagreed and the rest is history.

      2. Okay seems I am very naive then , thought he was just missing his friend

        1. Yes, very odd comments.

      3. Is that the same hand that wrote and maintained the rules that allowed Mercedes-Benz to take 7 World Constructors’ Championships in a row virtually unopposed?

        1. You mean the rules that were changed each season to ban their FRIC suspension, DAS, Floor regs?

      4. Twisted and bitter, seek help.

  2. It’s sad to not have Schumacher’s voice present, he’s the only other driver who broke records with a team that was dominant for many years. Would love to hear his insights and how he reflects on the current turbo-hybrid era.

    1. Indeed, it’s a shame to not have schumacher around the paddock the same way we had stewart, lauda, prost etc.

    2. All you Schumi fans conveniently forget that he was flawed and a dirty racer like when he deliberately took Damon Hill out to win a championship. Senna was the same and Verstappen is shaping to go the same way. In all his years of racing I never saw Hamilton cheat the way they did!

    3. And only 2 of those championships are due a team that was ultra-dominant (’02, ’04).

      Unlike Mercedes.

  3. Ugly to see the same toxic fans stain a great man’s farewell.
    What’s wrong with you.

    1. They forget it was about Todt and his accomplishments and feelings instead of MB, LH or Toto.

      Maybe these people preferred the heart warming speech Toto gave in his funeral mood with his black clothes in a concrete bunker.

    2. Erik. He is not a great man. Period.

      I consider him a manipulator of WDC.

      Good riddance as far as I am concerned and hopefully we will get someone with a higher moral compass at the helm of F1.
      His silence on so many issues is shocking and proves his senility and deviousness.

    3. +1, Toxic and deranged… Reminds me of Trump, believe he still thinks he won the election…

  4. This speech is worrying as it suggests the old Schumacher team might have a narrow view of current events, no-one must be allowed to beat his record as no-one is good enough for the hagiographers?

    Who knows if that psychology is in play, but when put beside Todt’s authoritarian demand that the FIA and officials are not criticised suggests it is well over time for him to depart for someone who can clean house.

  5. As a Ferrari fan Jean Todt is one of Ferrari’s and F1’s most iconic and influential figures (even without considering his FIA presidency)
    But as an African I’m happy that he brought the Safari Rally back after a long absence, it’s why I joined Motorsport and seeing the Yaris Rally car in person was epic

    1. That’s nice to have motorsport brought back closer to your home! For a true World Championship we still need a race or two in Africa too.
      Somehow I always assume that most motorsport enthusiasts on this site are from Europe, so it’s good to hear there’s RaceFans from Africa to be found this website. I can’t possibly tell how F1 and other sports are perceived in [Kenya, I presume given the Safari Rally?], so good to have a voice from over there too :)

  6. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    17th December 2021, 16:10

    There are other parts of his speech on another website that reads like as president he stood by and watched the teams abuse the officials. Like many people leaving a post all hindsight bull about what the FIA should of done.

    Well pal you were in charge and didn’t so coulda, shoulda, woulda seems par for the course when it comes to what happens in F1.

  7. jean “let michael for the championship rubens” todt was a stain to FIAs legacy

    no doubt he ordered masi to make the late call to deny Lewis Hamilton beat MS 7 WDC record

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