F1 links: Jean Todt and expenses

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:

Jean Todt’s RM1m fee ‘only covers expenses’

"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."

Leave no Silverstone unturned

"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 leaves Brawn team

"Zander helped play a role in creating Brawn's successful BGP 001, which has won six of the first eight races of the season."

FOTA making all the running now

"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."

FOTA: Formula 1 needs ‘fresh blood’

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."

A time to look ahead

"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!

FOTA looks to improve F1 show

"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."

Teams want independent FIA president

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…

Is this really the end of Max Mosley?

"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."

Disaster averted — there will be one Formula 1

"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."

These are links I’ve bookmarked using Delicious. You can see my Delicious profile here.

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10 comments on F1 links: Jean Todt and expenses

  1. Tom Watson said on 26th June 2009, 0:30

    I started Reading jake humphrey’s blogs after the Monaco grand prix, and I can’t say I have read a dull one yet, it’s always a nice light hearted way to round off a grand prix weekend. I have been nothing but impressed with the BBC coverage on tv and the blogs and many other things online just add to the excellent job thy have done this season.

  2. You are correct, RM is indeed the Malaysian Ringgit

  3. Bigbadderboom said on 26th June 2009, 10:29

    Good job Jake, your doing well!!

  4. Achilles said on 26th June 2009, 13:45

    Odd choice, Todt, I would not have counted diplomacy as one of his attributes. At the moment you can get up to 6 ringits to the pound, and you can get a lot of spending for your ringit, so his expenses are expensive.
    I’ve not seen a survey of fans offered by Fota, can someone point me in the right direction, or is it one of those surveys which poll 300 people out of the 300 million fans, then use percentages to show that more than 50% taking part agree?
    Somebody elsewhere has pointed out that the presidency of the FIA should be undertaken by someone with a legal background.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th June 2009, 13:51

      I would not have counted diplomacy as one of his attributes.

      Well put.

    • persempre said on 26th June 2009, 15:49

      From FOTA press release 5 March 2009:

      KEY DEMOGRAPHICS OF GLOBAL AUDIENCE SURVEY

      ▪ 17 countries surveyed

      ▪ First ever poll of Formula One devotees alongside non-Formula One devotees (ie, marginal and/or low interest fans)

      ▪ Responses were weighted according to the size of viewing market in each country (to avoid small markets skewing the results)

      ▪ Results were segmented by interest level in Formula One, demographic profiles (age and gender), country and region

      ▪ Total audience is comprised of:

      - Regular fans (25% by volume, predominantly male, cross section of ages)

      - Moderate fans (44% by volume, female and male, cross section of ages)

      - Infrequent fans (31% by volume, unlikely to watch grands prix, predominantly female, cross section of ages)

      KEY FINDINGS OF GLOBAL AUDIENCE SURVEY

      1. F1 isn’t broken, so beware ‘over-fixing’ it

      The current race format is not viewed as fundamentally broken (across all levels of Formula One interest) and therefore doesn’t require radical alteration. There is a strong desire for Formula One to remain meritocratic, while consumer interest is driven most by appreciation of driver skill, overtaking and technology.

      Implication: there is no evidence to suggest that grand prix formats need ‘tricking up’ via, for example, handicapping, sprint races, reversed grids or one-on-one pursuit races. Formula One audiences appreciate the traditional gladiatorial, high-tech nature of the sport and would not respond favourably to a perceived ‘dumbing down’ of the current format.

      2. F1 needs to be more consumer-friendly

      An individual’s view or understanding of Formula One is framed almost entirely by their local broadcaster. Unlike most global sports, the vast majority of ‘consumption’ of Formula One is via race-day TV coverage, supplemented in part by traditional, non-specialist newspaper coverage. Formula One fans are also mature consumers of new media channels (eg, on-line, mobile) and other touch points (eg, gaming, merchandise).

      The global nature of Formula One, although an attractive characteristic in itself, impedes the uniformity of race schedules, and often results in consumption of a race being limited to locally broadcast TV highlights programmes. Only devotees (25% of the total potential viewing audience) are likely to watch a race live if it occurs outside peak viewing times.

      Implication: significant opportunities exist to build audience via other channels such as internet and mobile.

      3. Major changes to qualifying format are not urgent

      When asked to consider alternative qualifying formats, all fan types expressed a modest preference for a meritocratically determined starting grid. There was some degree of interest in allowing luck to play a part in shaping the starting order, but the general sentiment was that the fastest driver should always start from pole.

      Implication: there may be justification for minor modifications to the current qualifying format, following further trials; however, a major change to the format will not result in a significant increase in audience.

      4. Revisions to the points-scoring system

      As with qualifying, all audiences want a meritocratic points-scoring system. This means that they want winning grands prix to count for more than it does currently. There is an indication that all audiences would like to see a greater points reward for winning grands prix.

      Implication: a minor adjustment to the existing points system is justified

      5. Evolution of pit stops and refuelling

      All audiences view pit stops as integral to their enjoyment of grand prix coverage; however, they rank the most important and compelling aspect of pit stops as tyre changing rather than refuelling. Race strategies were not highly ranked as a determinant of interest in Formula One.

      Implication: audiences are unlikely to diminish if refuelling is discontinued. Tyre changing is an important driver of audience interest (in pit stops) and should not be further automated.

      ————-
      Transcript of yesterday`s conference are also available on the FOTA site

  5. Achilles said on 26th June 2009, 18:49

    Thanks for the input Persempre, where did you get the results of the survey? Is there any indication of the numbers that took part,? I certainly was’nt aware a survey was taking place, nor do I know anyone that did, as I posted before, I am a bit suspicious when percentages are used to bolster the look of a poll/survey, the BBc did something similar recently and tried to pass off a poll of 2000, from 20,000,000 licence holders as meaningfull.

    • persempre said on 26th June 2009, 21:16

      From FOTA`s site as stated above, Achilles. All their press releases are there.

      I believe 8,500 were questioned.
      Keith probably has a record somewhere.

  6. Bartholomew said on 27th June 2009, 10:35

    Todt is a strange choice. I would have thought they could hire a good looking sexy girl instead.
    If Todt and Count Dracula suddenly ran into each other in a street corner late at night, it would be Dracula who ran away frightened.

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