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Todt wants evening races

NEWS STORY
30/06/2015

Having appeared to go MIA, suddenly Jean Todt is back in the news and eager to demonstrate that as FIA president, he is still a very significant power in the sport, his hands tightly gripping the tiller.

As the sport has declined, a view shared by many… in the stands, on couches and within the paddock, he has remained silent, virtually unseen.

Then, ahead of the final round of an FIA series that ticks so many right-on boxes, he appears to tell us that F1 is not in crisis, that it is merely suffering a "headache", that the illness, such as it is, is not terminal.

Furthermore, as Renault ponders its future (or lack of it) in F1, admitting that the future of the sport's governance is an issue - a claim that will be squarely aimed in the direction of Mr B C Ecclestone - and Michelin (another French company) noisily rattles its sabre as it ponders a return to the sport, Mr Todt issues his own thoughts on how F1 might be improved. And what an idea it is...

"Maybe we should decide that rather than the race at 1pm or 2pm in Europe during the summer, if you ask my opinion, I would prefer to have it at 6pm in the evening," he said, according to the Guardian. "That way people can then go to the beach, arrive home and see it."

It's a suggestion that is entirely unworkable, ludicrous even, but that is the intention.

For then he turns his sights on Ecclestone himself.

First he takes issue with Ecclestone's long-running complaints regarding the new (for 2014) formula.

"If he has some complaints, which may be right, it's something we should address internally and not make it public," says Todt. "All the credit and money he has got, he deserves it, but I would hope he will be more positive about the product."

Then he makes the attack a little more personal.

"I know Bernie very well. I know he may tell you I am his best friend then five minutes later to somebody else I am the worst idiot he has met in his life. I live with that.

"The only thing is, I will not get into that. It just creates unnecessary gossip. I don't have any problems with him getting more involved, as he has to if it is bringing something on board.

"If it is not constructive, you should not do it. But it is his style. Do I intend to change him? I don't intend to change him."

It is no secret that Todt has political ambitions well beyond F1 and sport, furthermore, he is aware that Formula One has suffered on his watch.

The criticism of Ecclestone is clearly to impress others, while the suggestion of evening races is simply to annoy him, the Frenchman knowing such decisions are almost entirely down to the so-called F1 supremo.

And all this at a time when potential purchasers of the sport are emerging, almost on a daily basis.

Are we to believe that Mr Todt's new found voice, and such a critical voice, is coincidental?

Smoke and mirrors, as they say, smoke and mirrors.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by gturner38, 01/07/2015 23:36

"Adding pit stops doesn't really add any cost at all. The pit crews are already at the track and they have 8 sets of tires to use for the race which they throw out whether they race on them or not. Even if Pirelli could reissue unused tires at the next race, pretty much every set of the softer compound has a handful of laps on them from qualifying. More pit stops means there's a chance the quickest cars get beat by superior strategy and at the very least there might be some doubt if cars are building a gap. "

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2. Posted by GrahamG, 01/07/2015 7:26

"Why does everyone have a preoccupation with more pit stops. All they do is confuse the spectators and watchers and ramp up the costs - pit stops mean loads of people and people and moving those people around the world are expensive. There used to be great racing in F1 before artificial pit stops for fuel and tyres were introduced. Give the drivers a tyre (which looks like a road tyre not a creme bun) which will last the race and give decent grip and let them get on with it. LMP 1 cars run GP length stints at similar speeds on a single tyre, so it must be possible"

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3. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 01/07/2015 3:38

"F1 appears to be just a cash-cow to be milked to fund other FIA initiatives / pet-projects such as Formula E, it would be interesting to know where the money goes; one for Mr Sylt perhaps.

Only when the money stream comes under threat will the FIA take notice but by then it may be too late with fans and TV audiences going elsewhere for their entertainment and the advertising revenue following them.

F1 is a technological sport with many vested interests who have been allowed to have a greater say in its direction, unforunately that direction is towards a dead end; the guiding hand has been doing something else.

From a motoring governing body point of view (FIA FISA) JT is in danger of being consigned to the ignominious category of 'Who?' and being less influential, good or bad, than Jean-Marie Balestre which would hardly be a ringing endorsement unless his political ambition is to be inconspicuous."

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4. Posted by nonickname, 30/06/2015 15:17

"The idiot has spoke and Bernie looks like a savior again. Yes let the 'green' F1 pump more carbon into the atmosphere with night races.The series is damned by ALL of the idiots who run it,the FIA,Bernie and the team principals."

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5. Posted by Ro, 30/06/2015 14:07

"Thats the most ridiculous suggestion I have ever heard. Its not the time that the races take place, its the racing itself that matters. Change the rules regarding engines, lift the restrictions and simplify the power units. Take the voting powers away from the teams.Then we can all watch RACING."

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6. Posted by Kkiirmki, 30/06/2015 11:42

"F1 is definitely in trouble if Todt make Ecclestone seem sane. "

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7. Posted by Mugmug, 30/06/2015 10:45

"All the statements/press releases etc, (of which there are very few) that JT makes are veiled requests that he's desperately seeking recommendations or referrals for psychiatric hospitals."

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8. Posted by dungbeetle, 30/06/2015 7:47

"How can it be right to have a man in charge of F1 who is clearly taking large doses of very strong hallucinogenic drugs?"

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