Some curious odds and ends in the F1 news today. Apparently Jean Todt is working as a tourism ambassador for Malaysia and is paid around “RM1 million”. I believe this means 1 million Ringgit, which is around £172,000.
See below for this story, an excellent piece by the BBC’s Jake Humphrey, and inevitably more on the FIA-FOTA row, below:
"The Tourism Ministry has offered to pay former Ferrari Formula One team boss Datuk Seri Jean Todt RM1 million to serve as the country's tourism ambassador."
"I feel pretty comfortable on live television, having done it every week, almost every day in fact since I was 18. However, speaking to the man at the top of the FIA, a sharp political operator, a shrewd mind, a man commonly referred to as the "cleverest guy in Formula 1" and the man at the very eye of this particular storm made me genuinely a little edgy." Fascinating and candid account of that interview with Max Mosley, by Jake Humphrey.
"Zander helped play a role in creating Brawn's successful BGP 001, which has won six of the first eight races of the season."
"I think we may see the return of a small amount of in season testing; this year has been a disaster for many teams, having no time to test parts and I think the teams realise that they are missing good opportunities to engage with the fans by not holding two or three “marquee tests’ where fans can get close to the action without spending lots of money and sponsors can invite more guests. Tests like Barcelona in April, Silverstone (or Donington) in June and Monza in late August may well return. I also think we may see their points system adopted next season with 12 points for a win and so on. From the feedback we got at the time here on JA on F1, that seemed to play well with the fans."
Nick Fry: "If one of those three [Campos, USF1 and manor] weren't able to get the funding to enter, there a possibility that others might be invited in. Obviously, we want more teams involved in Formula 1."
"What the people in the grandstands want is good racing and a dream of a different kind of life that lifts them from the drudge of daily living." I'm not sure it's quite as bleak as all that!
"I think as you are aware, FOTA undertook a very interesting survey of fans trying to understand what they wanted. The initial work led us to some conclusions that were put before the FIA. Unfortunately, none of those suggestions and ideas, which we felt were positive, were accepted. We now have to continue that work."
John Howett: "From the teams' point of view, we would like to see someone who actually is independent. Perhaps independent from any of us currently or historically." So no Jean Todt then…
"I can quite see Max becoming a ‘consultant’ to the FIA and continuing to be a thorn in the manufacturers’ side for years to come."
"The breakaway could have been a great opportunity to fix everything that is broken with F1. I doubt the breakaway would have been a true ’split’, and it probably wouldn’t have had the same consequences as the Cart / IRL split. It was pretty clear from the fact that the FIA never released a finalised 2010 entry list that the FIA didn’t have a 2010 F1 Championship to speak of, and Fota’s would have been the only show in town. That, I think, is why the deal must be seen as a victory for Fota. It has turned out to be a powerful organisation that did after all have the ability to at last stand up to Max Mosley’s dictatorial authority."
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