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Todt fears the FIA has been too lenient with teams

NEWS STORY
17/12/2021

Out-going FIA President, Jean Todt believes that teams' public criticism of stewards decisions and officials has got out of control.

The Frenchman was speaking just days after one of the most controversial races in living memory, the after effects of which were still being felt at Friday's prize-giving gala what with world championship runner-up, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team boss, Toto Wolff snubbing the event.

Over the course of an exciting, tense, entertaining but often bitter season, as race director, Michael Masi remains the focus of attention, Todt believes the FIA has been too lenient in allowing drivers and team bosses to continually criticise its officials and their decisions publicly.

"I was reading today in the French sport magazine, L'Equipe, the president of the Lyon Football Club, which is one of the most important teams," said the Frenchman. He has been forbidden (banned) for ten games, because he spoke badly about the referee...

"So maybe we have been too permissive," he added.

"I feel it is important to have a dialogue between the governing body, between the teams, between the drivers, between the commercial rights holders," he added. "But it should not go against us.

"I was watching the race and you see Max, after the first corner, when Lewis took him on the right side. He said, 'I am persecuted', and, he is not, nobody is, you know, but it's perception.

"In the heat of the action, you have your own feeling. But on the other side, you have the race director, you have the stewards, and you have a lot of organisation. And are we perfect? We're not perfect."

Referring to the new world champion, Todt was full of praise for the young Dutchman.

"I think he gets what he deserves, he made a great season," said the Frenchman. "It is true he was really lucky on the last lap, but you should see the whole season.

"Was he lucky in Silverstone? Was he lucky in Azerbaijan? Was he lucky in Budapest? He was not," he added.

"Tonight we should celebrate rather than get involved in any form of controversy, there's no point," insisted Todt, who in one of his last acts has called on the FIA to set up a commission to investigate evens in Abu Dhabi and how best to avoid a repeat.

"This young guy has made an outstanding job, that's what we should talk about rather than saying are we going to punish (Hamilton) because he's not coming. Honestly, I don't think that's the platform to speak, we should be above that."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 20/12/2021 16:45

"It wouldn't matter what was said about the stewards and race control in the heat of battle if it wasn't broadcasted. Youtube, Facebook, et al censor opinions it doesn't want the public to hear every minute of every day. Liberty could easily do that for drivers while they are in the pressure cooker cockpit."

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2. Posted by f1khun, 20/12/2021 1:41

"Wise words from Todt.

Yes it happened under his rule, and he should have taken control many many races ago, but he let it be.
Yet, he is right that the referee (race-Control) is not to be contacted, or you can get a (1) free kick against you, or (2) a penalty, or (3) a suspension or (4) a disqualification.
I believe that this is the right way.

Would this have prevented the last-lap-shootout in Abu Dhabi? No.
They need to figure out how to (a) always racing over the finish, and (b) have clear rules that cannot be swayed, not even by race-control.

Nice job for the new committee. I wish them the best of luck!"

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