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Todt: No going back

NEWS STORY
09/03/2017

FIA President, Jean Todt, has dismissed any hope of the sport reverting to the engine formula of what many regard as 'the good old days', the days of screaming - or at least noisy - V12s, V10s or V8s.

"It will not be accepted by society," he told the FIA's Auto magazine. "We have a responsibility to run an organisation monitored by global society. And global society will not accept that.

"Indeed, I'm sure if you said, 'let's go back to engines from ten years ago', many manufacturers would not support such a move. I'm convinced a minimum of three out of four would leave.

"Also, we know that stability is essential, firstly, to have as much competition as possible, and then to protect the investment. You cannot invest in new technology every year, it is not financially sustainable, and we already complain about the cost of racing, the cost of Formula 1... a cost that for me is absurd."

Of course, many will argue that this is motor racing, that it should be loud and dirty, while the manufacturers will come and go whatever the formula. Indeed, so complicated are the new power units only the major manufacturers can participate, which is having an adverse effect on on-track competition.

Though the efficiency and - for the most part - the reliability of the units are something the sport should be immensely proud of, many argue that they do not represent the true spirit of the 'pinnacle of motorsport'.

The issue is not helped by the fact that looking beyond his Presidency, Todt clearly harbours senior political ambitions.

"When you see the emphasis that is put on climate change, on pollution, I feel we have the responsibility to participate," he says. "It is true, a Formula 1 race will create less pollution than one plane going from Paris to New York, but we must be an example. And to be an example we cannot allow ourselves to create unnecessary pollution because it's just the wrong image."

Looking ahead, the Frenchman talks of a future for motorsport where hydrogen engines and driverless cars could figure.

"I'm convinced that hydrogen will be a technology that will be used in the future," he said. "Maybe in five years the zero car in rallying will be a driverless car.

"Motor sport is changing, and will keep changing, but we must make sure that we keep the best ingredients together. That is one of our responsibilities, to decide not what we will do next year, but what Formula One should be in 2021, in 2030 - what rallying should be, what endurance racing should be. The heart of the sport will still be there but it has to take into consideration the evolution of society.”

It should also take into account that if it continues at its present rate, the humans won't only be missing from the driving seat of the cars, but from the grandstands and in front of the TVs.

It may be an exciting future for some, but for others it is a somewhat sterile and bleak.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mbarnez, 10/03/2017 7:50

"Not sure what Todt thinks he's going to achieve by continuing his belief that F1 MUST be road car relevant.
It wasn't long ago that Diesel technology was being promoted as a cleaner fuel by the car manufactures at events such as Le Mans. Now the UK is facing fuel tax sanctions for diesel owners.

Surely the FIA can use WTC or WEC as trickle down technology categories for road car development?

I can't see a solution to the many issues blighting our sport until this blinkered fool has gone....

Just my 0.02 worth."

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2. Posted by scf1fan, 09/03/2017 22:12 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 10/03/2017 6:37)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

3. Posted by edllorca, 09/03/2017 15:06

"Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla... Who is this guy again?"

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4. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 09/03/2017 13:41

"Can someone persuade him to stand in place of Fillon?"

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5. Posted by Mugmug, 09/03/2017 13:35

"As usual, Todt has his own agenda, mandating where F1 has to go, not what the fans want. Take a look at all the gimmicks that have come and gone since he's been head of FIA, and the ones that are on the chopping block (DRS, maximum fuel usage, mandatory usage of more than one tire compound during races. The list goes on and on. This is the leader FIA ???!!!"

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6. Posted by Editor, 09/03/2017 12:55 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 10/03/2017 6:37)

"@ scf1fan

I was actually referring to Sports Car as in Todt's time with Peugeot (pre Hybrid)

I thought the "rally" reference might give that away.

Clearly I was wrong"

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7. Posted by scf1fan, 09/03/2017 12:43 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 10/03/2017 6:37)

"@Chris Balfe - You mean sports cars, like at Le Mans where all the top finishers as of late are hybrids of one sort or another? Or if we are talking about technologies that "got us here" do we still fly open cockpit biplanes where we can have the exhilarating feeling of scraping the bugs from our teeth? :-D
.
In the end, and in most cases, technologically, the fastest way around a road course is with a hybrid package. "

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8. Posted by Editor, 09/03/2017 9:55

"@Daydah

And he conveniently forgets that it was these, noisy, dirty engines – be it Sportscars, Rally or F1 – that got him where he is today."

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9. Posted by Daydah, 09/03/2017 9:50

"Who is this society who has to accept our sport? It is a sport, a spectacle, an entertainment. It is not a platform for the green lobby."

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10. Posted by MossMan, 09/03/2017 8:07 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 10/03/2017 6:37)

"He has a point - my mother always used to complain about us watching "that noisy polluting thing where you're just waiting for the accidents"..."

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11. Posted by Ro, 09/03/2017 8:04

"Todt, its called racing, not everyday motoring. Get your head out of your derriere and ask the fans if they want engines that sound like a racing engine not like a lawnmower. "

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