Todt: We don't want anyone to leave


Speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi at the weekend, Jean Todt, who races towards his third term as FIA President unchallenged, was keen to make clear his opinion on a number of issues facing the sport.

In the wake of the first voices of dissent in terms of the proposed engine regulations for 2021, and with the row over prize money and bonuses not even begun yet, the Frenchman was asked about Ferrari's threat to leave the sport.

Much like Ross Brawn, the poacher turner gamekeeper, Todt has walked the other side of the street, having run the F1 operation at Maranello and then served as Ferrari CEO before severing ties with the company in March 2009 before announcing his decision to run for the FIA Presidency a couple of months later.

Asked about the dissent that followed the initial proposal of the new engine regulations, which has already led to Ferrari threatening to quit the sport, he said: "We have nothing to do with the income. I am a legal person. My job is to make sure that the FIA is in the position to exercise its role as a regulator of motorsport. I don't need to decide and as a legalist, I don't have to interfere with the commercial side.

"It becomes natural that there are some consequences," he continued. "If you give more money to big teams who already have sponsors, how do you want smaller teams with less revenue to survive?

"It is decades now that we know that Ferrari has a different status altogether. This is part of the things that has to be discussed. When I was in the position to discuss about these privileges, the other teams were all in favour. I don't know if it will be the case in the future.

"I am afraid to see Ferrari or Mercedes leaving," he admitted. "It is their choice, but we don't want anyone to leave.

"Ferrari is an iconic brand and I don't want to see them leaving. It is combination between racing and the road cars. It will be painful for Ferrari not to be in F1."

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Published: 27/11/2017
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