Todt: FIA does not wield enough power

23/06/2016
NEWS STORY

FIA president Jean Todt is concerned that F1's governing body does not have sufficient power.

At a time former FIA president Max Mosley was warning that the engine manufacturers, particularly Mercedes and Ferrari, now govern the sport, the FIA was facing embarrassment after its new qualifying format had to be abandoned after just a couple of races.

And as the teams demand not only a bigger slice of the sport's revenue, but the right to decide the regulations, it's almost as if the FIA has lost control and serves merely to rubber stamp what others want.

Things came to a head when the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, effectively the F1 drivers' union, wrote an open letter to the sport's powers-that-be, expressing fears over the way it was being governed and the direction in which it is heading, an embarrassing admission in terms of the FIA's leadership.

Speaking at the FIA's Sport Conference in Turin, Todt admitted that the organisation should have "more autonomy to make the final decision" on F1's rules and regulations.

"The governing body has not enough power, or influence to have the final say on the rules," said the Frenchman. "If you want to have the participation of teams, of manufacturers, they must support what you are doing.

"Very often manufacturers are involved because they feel it is a strong marketing tool, a strong laboratory for them. So it is essential you listen to them, it is a way of leadership. For me I like to hear what people think, not only manufacturers but fans and journalists."

Currently, the suggestions are made by the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission, both of which have major input from the teams and manufacturers along with Bernie Ecclestone, the Commercial Rights Holder.

"At the end of the day we should have much more autonomy to make the final decisions," said Todt. "But after having listened to the others. It is important you have bodies that are participating to influence but at the end of the day it is the governing body that is making the final decision.

Of course, this would require; "the very strong support of the promoter," he admitted, "because the promoter has the responsibility to sell the show. It would be unfair to say we are going to dictate that and you must sell the show."

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Published: 23/06/2016
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