Jean Todt is the new FIA president

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jean Todt with team members Nick Craw, Grahm Stoker and Brian Gibbons
Jean Todt with team members Nick Craw, Grahm Stoker and Brian Gibbons

Jean Todt’s victory in today’s FIA election is not likely to be greeted with a great deal of surprise.

He was the preferred choice of outgoing president Max Mosley, and that clout was always going to count for a lot. Sure enough, Todt won with 135 votes to Vatanen’s 49, with 12 abstentions.

The FIA member clubs were given a choice between continuing with the status quo and embracing change. They have emphatically opted for the former which, given F1’s recent troubles, is a disappointment.

After the acrimonious build-up to the elections it remains to be seen if there will be any fall-out about how it was conducted. There has been no reaction from Vatanen yet.

A full list of the candidates elected as part of Todt’s team can be found on the FIA website.

Luca di Montezemolo, head of the F1 teams’ association as well as Todt’s former boss at Ferrari, had warm words for Todt on his election:

I have always appreciated his ability, dedication and commitment. I am sure that, under his guidance, the Federation will be rejuvenated and will restore a climate open to dialogue and constructive collaboration with the teams and FOTA, thus ensuring stability of the regulations and the whole environment.

How long will the relations between the two remain this cordial? What should Todt’s first actions be after taking over the role?

And will F1 remain without a French Grand Prix for much longer now a Frenchman is back in charge of the FIA? Have your say in the comments.

More reaction to this story in the earlier article here: The FIA goes to the polls

F1 Presidential elections 2010

102 comments on “Jean Todt is the new FIA president”

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  1. Why do I feel there will just be more of the same…

    1. Because you’re probably right?

  2. I actually though Vatanen could win. I don’t think he’ll be half as bad as Mosley, but the main concern is obviously whether he has total autocracy in the same way Max did or be more democractic.
    As for French gp, fine it can come back but not Magny Cours. I dislike that track. :P

    1. I like it – it has some really fast and challenging corners

    2. I don’t mind Magny-Cours too much, and we need the French GP back on the calender.

      1. The Sri Lankan
        23rd October 2009, 23:44

        i love that track

    3. There is a French GP. Monaco. ;)

      1. I know you’re joking, but for anyone else getting ideas Monaco does NOT count as France ;)

        1. I think its high time we return back to Le Castellet. Its the only decent track in whole of France.

          1. Could try Rouen? ;)

    4. Got bored of Magny-Cours, even though it’s better than some other tracks we have now and was improved before it was dropped.

      Personally I’d like to see it as Flins-Les Mureaux, although if they run it anti-clockwise it would be too similar to Interlagos.

  3. Of course Jean Todt won. What a joke. Well I think it would be dificult for Todt to be worse than Mosley. Not a good year for F1 I have to say.

    1. Got to agree with that Hallard, Fairness, and transparency are leaving by the back door…

      1. Leaving by the back door? I don’t think fairness and transparency were ever invited to the party!

  4. Well, the result is not a surprise.
    I think that if things will seem to be done differently by FIA, this will be just an illusion. People in charge generally don’t like change, unless it increases their control, and the new president will make sure that everything stays the same: the ones that must get away with dirty things will and the inconvenient characters will be hunted down every time an opportunity shows itself.
    Anyway we have to be positive and optimistic and maybe things will be better.

  5. Boooooo!!!

  6. Boooooo indeed! What’s the betting he appoints S&Max as his ‘F1 commissioner’? Pretty likely I’d say. What a joke.

    1. S&Max

      SS Max. Adolf appointing Heinrich is an apt analogy.

      1. Godwin’s law. From who else, but the blasphemer!

    2. I bet it’ll be like Russia with Putin (Mosely) really in charge & Medvedev (Todt) as the puppet.

  7. Bloody hell….

    Even as a Ferrari fan… makes me a tad nervous

  8. A more apt headline for the article would be…

    ” The sport loses as Jean Todt wins”

    1. Or how about the headline “Smelly little toad wins election” SAD day for F1(unless your a Ferrari fan)

  9. Is there a breakdown of which members voted for which candidate? And do all the clubs get an equal vote? Are Algeria’s 3 motor club votes equal to Finland’s three votes?

    1. I’d be interested to know that too. Apparently most of the big clubs like the US and Germany supported Vatanen, but presumably Todt bribed all the worlds microstates to vote for him. But why couldn’t the EU step in to prevent that sort of thing?

    2. No. One country, one vote.

      Disputed countries (dissent among clubs) resulted in a blank ballot.

  10. wonder how fair these elections were

  11. I think all the voting was done by secret ballot, in fact I think that was a disputed issue running into this week. But I can’t be 100% sure on that.

    As for who has a more worthy vote, I believe all the clubs are equal, regardless of size. That’s part of the reason why Max won the vote of confidence last year- a bunch of smaller clubs pulled for him and got enough votes, while the majority of larger clubs did not support him.

  12. Keith, for just this one day could you allow profanity in the comments?

    1. LOL! No, but thanks for asking :-)

  13. I don’t even know what I am really talking about, but I am a bit disturbed by the comments here…

    Is Todt all black and Vatanen all white ?
    Do you really think it will ,ake absolutely NO difference with Mosley ?

    How about we give the (elected) man a chance before destroying him, huh ?

    1. We did the same in the US. We gave the guy a chance and see how it is working for us..unemployment, money issues, businesses going under, it all great.
      We are complaining because we know it is more of the same things that have made F1 a joke for the last 3 years. Different man, same results.

      1. Yeah if people expect radical change in only a few months they are deluding themselves.

        The US economy recovering after it was plummeting at breakneck speeds, Iran willing to do deals on nuclear materials, Russia working together with the US, closing of Guantanamo being arranged, broad discussion about fixing the broken healthcare system, rest of the world doesn’t hate the US anymore. I’d say that is a huge amount of change for just a few months time.

        Amazingly people still expect more. Or rather, are told to expect more by certain groups. They expect the jobs to come back right away. They don’t know that economical recovery takes 1 to 2 years. they don’t realize that job growth is the last effect of recovery. They want it NOW!

        I guess Vatanen would have suffered the same fate. People would expect him to “change” everything. Practically on a moments notice even. Of course that’s impossible.

        1. That was a great little speech there… except none of your 2nd paragraph is true, the economy isnt recovering, guantanamo isnt closing and the health system isnt broke and it never was.
          You like so many of your ilke dont understand that the media created 95%of the BS you believe as fact.
          Take the healthcare system you say is broke.. no one repeat no one in the US regardless of citizenship, race or any other factor is refused healthcare ever at any emergency room…I should know I work in them.People from other countries come to the US to be treated because they wont be in their countries. You want to see the economy go in the toilet even further..let the government take over healthcare.
          The economic situation in the US has been festering since the Clinton administration relaxed loan regulation and people started borrowing money the couldnt afford to and then the loan companies(fannie mae and freddie mac) bundled the bad loans with good ones and created the problem and the problem was made worse by politicians from both sides letting it continue.
          As for the rest of the world liking or hating the US..I coould care less. I have been all over this world and I can tell you that I would always rather live in the US than any other country. We have more freedom(for now but that may change with this idiot) more opportunity and possibility than in any other country.
          You are so missinformed it is sickening
          I would tell you to take your head out of the sand but it is already stuck somewhere else.

          1. Nuts.

          2. Ooops, didn’t mean to post that there.

          3. Heh. A republican.

          4. As for the rest of the world liking or hating the US..I coould care less.


            thats sad.

            I have been all over this world and I can tell you that I would always rather live in the US than any other country. We have more freedom(for now but that may change with this idiot) more opportunity and possibility than in any other country.

            I am a little baffled with your comment here. Who is the “idiot” you referring to that is going to destroy your freedom? and how will they do that exactly?

            We have more freedom..

            gulp…. I hope you are right, and that continues to be the case..


            just want to tell you that every action lags with reaction.. you can not really blame the current government for whatever may or may not be happening correctly or incorrectly in the US.

            Technology continues to grow around the world, everywhere, constantly, and by that I mean good and “bad” technology owned and controlled by good and bad people. So, how can a system be imposed to indirectly regulate this madness? The approach that Obama (or his advisers) “might be” taking seems to be leaning towards something that can be accomplished, that is as far as the US is concerned. Although his Nobel piece price i must say is quite premature, and somewhat of a joke. Anyway, why I am talking about this? Because the word “freedom” you mentioned there is linked to all of this and more.

          5. Tsk, tsk, Martin, you spoiled your little rant with a silly grammar mistake – you said you ‘could care less’ (i.e. you care so much that you wish you didn’t) instead of ‘couldn’t care less’ (i.e. you don’t give a damn).

          6. Lol, he even blames Clinton. These “Faux News” viewers are such a laugh :)

          7. I love it when people say ‘we have more freedom than any other country’ – for one thing, can you tell me where you bought your freedometer? Like what, because you get to vote for candidates from two whole parties? What a crock. Racial segregation persisted legally in some forms into the 1970s in the US. Don’t get me started.

          8. This is a forum for F1 guys, go argue that crap somewhere else!

          9. We’re arguing the politics of FIA presidential elections.

            Stop whining about “crap”

  14. Well…now what?
    All we can do is wait and see.
    I did see a picture on Autosport of Michael and Jean taken right after the announcement was made. I don’t know who was kind of cradling the back of whos neck, maybe they both were. With that kind of far away look in their eyes. They looked like they were just about to give each other a great big long warm kiss. Sickening. Just wait. MS is going to be appointed to some board that has something to do with F1.
    Oh..and by the way…saw a funny tweet by fakebernie telling “little Napoleon” that Bernies people would be contacting him soon for measurements to attach the strings. Wish I had thought of that one.

    1. MS is going to be appointed to some board that has something to do with F1.

      Oh, so maybe he shouldn’t just because you dont like it? lol

      The man obviously loves F1 and there is nothing you or I or anyone can do about it, other then , maybe his haters can shoot themselves in the head now and not have to see anything to do with MS again? ;P I would not recommend it :), but i think that is your only option. Or maybe you better get used to it because I am certain he will be involved F1 again sooner rather than later. The guy is a 7 time WC whether we like it or not. And there is very very very high chance that he will own his team one day. He certainly has enough $$$ to buy even 2 of them if he wants.

      1. Sorry to say Maksutov, but F1 will be the poorer if Schumi does re-involve himself. Just an opinion, but a proven cheat would set a bad example….

        1. The question is not if he will involve himself again, but rather “when”. You better get used to it. And while you and like to rub him off as a cheat, some people can actually see the exceptional qualities he had as an F1 driver, and that cheating can not buy.

          1. That begs the question ‘why bother to cheat then?’ when you are so ‘exceptional’? sorry m8, in life you are allways remembered for what you do wrong…

          2. @Achilles

            in life you are allways remembered for what you do wrong…

            I dont doubt that. People believe what they feel to believe, and see what they wish to see. But the facts are there records and history is there that show the exceptional driving skills. I am looking at MS as a driver and not some bad English political figure. The reality is that MS never really got away with any of his personal cheats – of course that doesn’t change the fact that he attempted those things. But team orders are different – blame the team for that.

            I am not gonna bloody go through the history what happen and how he drove, everyone saw it. The reality is that MS was always competitive because he had exceptional consistency over many many years. You cant kill the truth dude no matter how much you wish you could.

  15. No surprises and yes we have too find out what todt – is like in this post – but I really do think we are proverbaly goosed with this appointment

  16. What bad news

  17. Though personally I am not a big fan of Max and his regime, I thought Max is hated a little more than what he deserved. During the FOTA FIA war I felt MAX was insane. But when BMW pulled out I started thinking “Hmmmm Maybe this guy has a point….. “. Now look at the influence he had. All he has to do is to say that he supports Jean as his successor. That is it – Jean wins with a huge majority.

    Well we really need to get the version from the pro-Jean voters also. And how sure is everybody that only developing/Non-European countries voted for Jean and European countries voted for Vatenan. If that was really the case then I feel there is a wide ridge between the European countries and the Non-European countries. As far as F1 is concerned and that is really not good for the sport.

    If indeed there is a divide, I really feel the divide is the root cause. It does’nt matter Vatenan or Jean as long as the sport does not get a regional consensus. I feel that is the most important thing.

    Look at the sad state of things. A country where the maximum cars are sold in the world USA or rather North America to be general does not have an F1 race.

    Do you think any manufacturer was thrilled about it. BMW,Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, Ferrai everybody might be feeling really sour about the mess bernie has created and no wonder Honda and BMW pulled out.

    Then there is a Bernie’s world of F1 and Max’s world of F1. It is disheartening to see the various factions and power centers which is doing more harm to the sport than any good.

    In the end it is sport. the genuine driving talents and fans who are getting affected more than anything else.

    1. I don’t think BMW were too thrilled when Max – after they were among his sternest critics for being caught in flagrante delicto – had a go at them for ‘their’ activities in the 2nd world war, as if the current BMW board were personally responsible for the Battle of the Bulge. Mind have made them think twice about sticking around and probably wouldn’t get VW rushing to sign up to F1 either :D

  18. teeb123456789
    23rd October 2009, 23:23


    in regards to the French Grand Prix, I think there will be one from 2011 onwards.

    I recently visited the company, Apex Circuit Design’ (for work experince) who have designed the new French GP circuit and they say it should be built by 2011.

    With a Frenchman as the president, then I do think that the French GP will be a secured track.

    1. With a Brit as president and another as FOM president, the British Grand Prix is far from secured.

      1. Are you saying that we will have a track that is not designed by Mr. (boring) Tilke! YES! i dont think bernie will be too please though!

  19. Terry Fabulous
    23rd October 2009, 23:42

    This is on the whole a let down. But if you think about what he did to turn around Ferrari, he certainly has the potential to turn around the FIA.

    The big issues that faced Ferrari before he arrived was a shobolic management structure where noone trusted anyone else, noone felt safe or secure and wild decision were made on momentary whims.

    He managed to turn that around and make Ferrari a functional organisation with consistent clear decision making procedures and job security. They became the model team on the grid.

    If Jean can step into the FIA and place some structures around the way races are controlled, maybe install some permanent stewards and get some consistent penalties. He will have done a great deal.

    1. You are absolutely right Terry, but I’d be a whole lot happier if the ‘company’ that Todt had turned was not a current F1 competitor…

      I’ve seen a few comments pointing out that Todt has no current Ferrari ties. Of course not, not even Ferrari could pull off having their man win the vote. Todt’s exit from Ferrari was all carefully orchestrated for this intended result. Todt’s previous (or current as the case may be) links to Ferrari should automatically have excluded him from candidacy. No ifs, buts, or maybes.

      As it is, I’m prepared to give him a chance to show me what he can do, but I won’t be at all surprised if I am on here in a years time saying I told you so…

      1. I agree with your comments. Although I would have liked to see Ari, I am either way expecting more stability and professionalism from FIA in the near future.

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