Jean Todt?s Approval Rating VII

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Are you happy with how F1 is being run by the FIA president?

Once every month at F1 Fanatic we look at how the president of the sport?s governing body, Jean Todt, is managing the championship.

Join in by casting your vote below.

FIA developments since the last approval rating

Proximity wings

The World Motor Sports Council accepted the Formula One Teams Associations’ proposal to introduce ‘proximity wings’ in 2011:

From 2011, adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the driver has completed two laps.

The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit.

A poll on this site showed the majority of fans are unhappy with the proposal to only allow drivers to activate the wings if they are one second or less behind another driver.

Read more: F1 fans reject FOTA?s ??Mario Kart? wings

Safety car

Following events in the European Grand Prix the FIA made a series of changes to the safety car procedure.

These included changing the deployment of the safety car to make it less likely a driver might be disadvantaged, as Fernando Alonso was during that race. The operation of pit lane exit lights was also changed to prevent a repeat of Michael Schumacher’s problem during the same race.

It has also changed the ‘delta’ time targets each driver has to stick to when the safety car comes out. After the European Grand Prix nine drivers received penalties for failing to match their times.

Prior to the European Grand Prix the FIA had already modified the safety car rules following Schumacher’s penalty for overtaking Alonso on the last lap of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Read more: FIA must learn from Valencia shambles

107% rule

The ‘107% rule’ is being reintroduced for 2011. Drivers who fail to set a lap within 7% of the fastest time in Q1 will not be allowed to start the race.

A similar rule was used in Formula 1 until the end of 2002.

Read more: Backmarkers to struggle in qualifying as FIA revives 107% rule for 2011

The 13th team

GP2 team ART, which is co-owned by Todt’s son Nicolas, cancelled its entry to the 2011 F1 championship.

That spared Todt from what might have been seen as a conflict of interest, but it remains to be seen who will get the final space on the grid next year. It’s likely a decision will have been taken by the time of the next Approval Rating.

Read more: ART drops F1 2011 entry bid

Other rules changes

Among the other changes to the rules, the minimum weight will be raised in 2011 and drivers have been told they cannot stop on track to save fuel as Lewis Hamilton did in Canada.

The FIA also dropped a hint that racing drivers may face sporting penalties if they commit driving offences on the road.

Competitors at FIA events must act as ambassadors for the sport, be aware their conduct on the road must be exemplary and respect road safety rules. The World Council agreed that the International Sporting Code be examined to ensure the Federation?s overall objectives and, in particular, its commitment to road safety, are upheld.

Read more: World Motor Sport Council clarifies rules after Schumacher and Hamilton incidents

2011 tyres supply

The FIA confirmed Pirelli as F1’s tyre supplier for 2011-2013.

Tyre specifications will remain largely unchanged next year. A move to larger wheel rims was thought to be on the cards and was endorsed by rival tyre manufacturer Michelin.

Read more: Pirelli return to F1 after 20-year absence

NASCAR

Keeping his eye on the motor racing world beyond the FIA, Todt visited a NASCAR race earlier this month.

Jean Todt’s Approval Rating

As an F1 fan, do you approve or disapprove of the way Jean Todt is handling his job as FIA President?

  • Approve (54%)
  • Disapprove (24%)
  • No opinion (22%)

Total Voters: 984

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Jean Todt?s Approval Ratings

Date Approve Disapprove No opinion
June 2010 53% 24% 25%
May 2010 78% 8% 14%
April 2010 63% 14% 23%
March 2010 53% 24% 23%
February 2010 57% 14% 29%
January 2010 55% 16% 29%
Jean Todt's Approval Rating, January-June 2010
Jean Todt's Approval Rating, January-June 2010 (click to enlarge)

Image (C) FIA

75 comments on “Jean Todt?s Approval Rating VII”

  1. We want turbos
    21st July 2010, 9:24

    I approved, I don’t agree with the adjustable rear wings, but 95% of what Todt has done in his time in office has improved F1 and Motorsport in general.

  2. He’s an invisible president and he gets things done. He’s not a media whore filled with a lot of hot air.

    How do you think I voted?

    1. Was it ‘No Opinion’ by any chance? ;)

    2. this is my approval rating :

      ‘… who?’

    3. miguelF1O (@)
      21st July 2010, 23:54

      only problem he should have steped up and anule valencias gp

      1. For once dude I agree with you, but alas, I don’t think he can do that.

        I think Mr Bernie picks and chooses the races they attend.

  3. No opinion for me, which, arguably, is a rather good result for a FIA chairman

  4. WidowFactory
    21st July 2010, 9:38

    Proximity wings are stupid, the 107% rule is dumb.

    The biggest problem i have is the inconsistency of the steward’s punishments, which Todt doesn’t seem to have any interest in fixing. Schumacher was given a super-harsh 20 second penalty in Monaco, we were told this was the lightest possible penalty the stewards could give. Then later on, suddenly a 5 second penalty is invented for the 9 drivers who broke their delta times. Common sense really needs to prevail here, but Todt seems happy with the way it is.

    1. I’m curious as to whether changes to safety car rules, and indeed rule amendments, generally would be deemed necessary, had the existing rules not affected the ‘stars of the show’ so strongly…

      1. Well, so long as they affected a top six or seven team, then yes, they would have been deemed necessary.

  5. I think it’s a bit unfair to blame proximity wings on Todt since the FIA had nothing to do with it. FOTA came up with the idea, and they’re the ones who implemented it.

    1. I agree with your view, and the same for 107%. It is on the whole good if FIA listens to what the teams want with such things, as long as they don’t get crazy. I was glad the tires were sorted quicker than I feared at last vote a well.

    2. yeah thats pretty much why I approved, proximity wings a sham but thats FOTa.

  6. I wish we had a more graduated scale than just “approve” or “disapprove”. I detest the idea of the adjustable rear wings, but like all the rest of the decisions made in the last month.

    I had to go with “disapprove” in the end, as the proximity wings idea is so bad.

    1. I did the same, the proximity wing decision is not very good, although i don’t blame Todt for that as much as the FOTA.

      But he did make the tyre choise rather harder than being helpfull in getting a deal done as soon as possible.
      And i am not sure the SC rules have improved, to me it seems it’s still very comlicated and the 107% rule for next year just makes no sense.

      And the delay in choosing a 13th team makes me feel real sympathy for the poor guys having to build a car from scratch on a small budget (and having to lodge EUR 16 Million with Bernie), fear the 107% rule making any experience in driving the car in races unlikely and just drop out after that for next year.

      1. The bond thing isn’t official yet, is it? That was just Ecclestone saying what he’d like to have happen.

      2. I had to vote “disapprove” as well. For the first time I might add.

        The combination of the ridiculous adjustable rear wing rules (the wing itself would be fine if it didn’t have such ludicrous restrictions as to how it can and can’t be used), the added complexity to the SC rules when they should have just simplified them, and the lateness in announcing the 13th team at the same time reintroducing the 107% rule… when I weigh all that together it really seems like he could be doing a better job. Oh, and the way he tried to pull rank over the teams in the tire deal was very political and disappointing, ultimately he at least made the right choice.

        1. But as others keep pointing out, the wing doesn’t come from Todt’s desk, it’s entirely
          a loony idea put forward by the teams ( FoTA )

          Though I don’t see why the Overtaking Working Group can’t make a difinitive judgement on what’s safe and what most certainly isn’t.

          1. Yes, but he’s approved it! He should have the good sense to stand up to the teams when they’re following Bernie down the loony rabbit hole.

  7. I don’t approve or disapprove. My only problem, which may be out of Jean Todt’s hands, is how slow the stewarding is. They need to show more instinct.

    1. That is a terrible ideas, football refs have to go on instinct half the time, an look at the cock ups that produces. No much better get it right than go on instinct an ruin someones race, wrongly.

      1. It’s not as if the well-considered decisions haven’t ruined races in an (in)direct manner in the past.

        1. Your point? Better than unconsidered opinions.

      2. It shouldn’t take half an hour for the stewards to take action.

        At Silverstone, they should have just told Alonso to let Kubica back through straight away. He didn’t make the pass on track, and therefore it was illegal. The fact that it took forever for the stewards to do something was ridiculous.

        1. The stewards aren’t there to necessarily act as referees in other sports, jumping in straight away to make judgements straight away. It has been gone over quite a bit that Charlie advised Ferrari that Alonso should let Kubica back through, and it was only their failure to do so that got the stewards involved.

  8. For the 1st time I voted “disapprove”, just because of the proximity wings rule: F1 is a sport, not a videogame !

  9. I had to go with No Opinion on this one. I can’t say I approve or disapprove of what Jean Todt has been doing. Disappointed would be a more appropiate word; proximity wings, too complicated; safety car procedure, too complicated; 107% rule, bad idea for 13th team; 13th team, no decision (and the fact that his sons team, the best prepared to take the spot, doesnt think its viable anymore says it all).

    And where is the promised F1 commissioner? Undoubtably Jean Todt’s style of Presidency is much different to his predecessor and he has taken very much a back seat role, which I think is great and much more appropiate for the leader of the governing body. But my question now is who is making the decisions on the running of and the future of F1, and who is the spokesperson for it? Who do we ask about what’s going on? Is it Todt, Charlie Whiting, Bernie Ecclestone, FOTA even? Like any good business someone needs to come out and take ownership of the situation.

  10. Proximity wings

    a complicated, expensive gimmick. let it die, now.

    Safety car

    totally shambolic. sc lines 1 and 2…what? track is clear, sc in this lap, green flag…what? delta times instead of a speed limit, pits are open for lottery winners, extreme difficulty in picking up leaders, the list goes on. the only things they got right are bert maylander and the best sounding engine in f1.

    107% rule

    too little, too late?

    The 13th team

    great, another bad team with no money that can’t get out of it’s own way. just what we needed.

    2011 tyres supply

    meh. i would have preferred lower-profile tires. i would definitely like to see the mandatory tire change fade into history.

    NASCAR

    i like the fact that todt is observing how things are done in other series. i was shocked to see him during the rolex daytona race.

    …drivers may face sporting penalties if they commit driving offences on the road.

    absolutely not. off-track behavior might influence employment and sponsorship, but is irrelevant to sporting activities. to quote charles barkley, “a million guys can dunk a basketball in jail; should they be role models?”

    Other

    the incidents in monaco, valencia and silverstone clearly show how poor the fia is at implementing their own ass-backwards rules. even the participants don’t know what the hell is going on. and, the fia’s answer is to add more layers of complexity. safety car madness, in effect a non-penalty, a penalty with a life of it’s own, half an hour to reach a decision – it would be a comedy of errors, if it were at all funny. i’m glad todt is looking at other series, because all of these problems were sorted out in american racing several decades ago.

    I DISAPPROVE.

    1. I’m with you on the safety car stuff. I’m baffled as to how they’ve made it so complicated when I never saw this sort of confusing in Indy growing up.

    2. That pretty much sums up all my thoughts.

  11. Positives and negatives out of JT this time round, so I think the middle ground of no opinion is about right. I’m glad to have certainty about the tyres for 2011 finally, but I’m not so sure about proximity wings, the 107% rule or the safety car rules. The safety car rules are getting out of hand at the moment. The rule should simply be that the pit lane be closed for two laps as soon as the safety car is deployed (with exceptions for clearly damaged cars.

    As PM said above, he is an invisible, hard working president who gets things done, so it would take a lot for me to say i don’t approve.

  12. hi I voted approved- I love the proximity wing,there’s nothing wrong with it,didnt hear anyone upset when Mclaren were the only team with an F-DUCT.Hows that not unfair?Ah yes thats ok its ingenuity and they deserve that advantage. Well if a driver can get close enough then he deserve’s a bit of an advantge as well. I cant wait for 2011 and an exciting finish to 2010.

    1. Because the F-Duct is an ingenious bit of engineering, as simple as it is effective. We love engineering like that here. Proximity wings are a silly gimmick.

  13. the Mickey Mouse wings are not in the spirit of race-craftsmanship, the 107% rule is all well a nice, but will be counterproductive if the teams are not allowed to test several times a year.

  14. Approve.

    Wings – mainly FOTA I believe although the FIA has to approve themselves. F1 usually has new rules which can be dropped quickly or stick around for a horrendously long time (grooved tyres) so it may not even be that much of an issue in a few years so certainly not going to mark him down on that just yet even if I do whole heartedly disagree with the principal.

    Tyres- they’ll have some next year so good.

    107% rule- stupid. Random number and only comes into effect after the busiest on track periods so makes no sense in the name of safety. It’s also not encouraging new teams to join when they see the likes of HRT.

    13th team hasn’t even been picked yet so no opinion.

    Todt’s done nothing really that I can get worked up about and have a rant. He’s pushing the sport along but isn’t shooting his mouth off to the press every five seconds and making the sport look bad which is a presedential style that was much needed after Max.

    1. dyslexicbunny
      21st July 2010, 16:23

      I have nothing against the 107% rule but as I mentioned in that article, I think any team that doesn’t start should get two extra practices. Otherwise, the bottom stays there.

      The video game wing is stupid. Insanely stupid.

      1. I don’t mind if they said that cars that were too slow couldn’t participate but how it is executed, organised and implemented with the 107% rule is daft.

        The cars will participate in the majority of the session and then be kicked out at the final hurdle. They’ll have wasted money just bothering to show up.

        The wing is a daft idea I agree but it isn’t Todt’s fault.

  15. I judged the recent period of Todt’s ruling ONLY (previous months when I approved his actions didn’t influence my current judgment) and I must say he didn’t do very well. Some bizarre rule changes (adjustable wings, 107% rule), some mess in the current rules which was not cleared in time. All in all a negative from me for that one particular month.

  16. Wow what happened in May??

  17. The trouble is, that in true FIA style, there has been talk about the introduction of moveable wings and the 107% rule, but until they actually appear, we as fans don’t know what effect they will have on the racing.
    So really, when it comes down to it, Mr Todt hasn’t done anything apart from visit NASCAR and pick a new tyre supplier (or was that more down to FOM?)
    There have been mutterings about getting F1 greener again, and I would like to see the FIA lead the way with a hybrid Safety Car and a motorhome with a cleaner ‘carbon footprint’, but no doubt the most we will see is more green paint at various circuits…..

  18. aquatic_mammal
    21st July 2010, 13:35

    Gone are the days of Mad Max. Sanity pervades F1 for the first time in living memory [mine anyway].

    J’approve

  19. he gets my approval because he’s not mosely.

  20. I liked the idea of having the 107% rule & I hope that the 13th slot is given to a deserving team.The safety car rule needs to be filter more that is something which is catching up everyone on the grid.

  21. I think the telling trend may be the “I Disapprove” trend. After reading the comments, you can detect that the distinction between “I Approve” and “I Have No Opinion” may be a bit hazy. In my case, for example, I think JT has been successful doing what he can without getting in the way – therefore, I selected “I Have No Opinion”. But, the “I Disapprove” category has two spikes – March and June.

  22. I disaprove because i think he was very unfair on Alonso in europe,which may affect his championship charge.

    And i hate the idea of Proximity wings they are stupid.

    I hope Adrian Sutil does wel but i think either Webber or mabye Alonso can maintain his decent form and charge on.

    1. Yes, I clicked disapprove as well. As an Alonso fan, I thought that the FIA were extremely unfair on Fernando at Europe and Britain.

      Proximity wings, well they are difficult to judge. Maybe they can work but I think a few years wait would have helped the development.

      The 107& rule is a joke.

      Sutil is on form and I see Webber, Hamilton or Alonso taking the title. We are up for a cracking finale in Abu Dhabi.

      1. If you had to choose a winner who would you be,and if you could start the season again who would be your dream winner

        1. Webber and Alonso.

      2. The FIA don’t give out the penalties (or decide when the Safety Car comes out, for that matter). Or I thought that was the counter-argument to the “Ferrari International Assistance” jibes after Spa 2008? Can’t have it both ways.

        1. No but I now think they are giving some harsh penalties to Ferrari to avoid people coming up with the Ferrari International Assistance story. That is simply unfair. They are giving out tough penalties to Ferrari which is such a stark contrast to the Schumacher years. Although as an Alonso fan, I suppose you cvould say I am biased.

          1. Alonso got the standard penalty for the offense. Or at least the standard standard set after Spa 2008 and Magny Cours 2008.

            Remember all the hoopla that occurred after the Magny Cours 2008 drive-through penalty for Hamilton? No? Exactly, there wasn’t any.

  23. I’ve gone back to No opinion from Approve, the first time I’ve not approved since the first vote.

    There have been some minor tweaks that were necessary. But personally I found the whole idea of disciplining a driver for real-world antics to be a gimmicky reaction to the “bad” press over Hamilton; if it was such a problem, why wasn’t this brought in when he was caught speeding a few years ago (answer: it wasn’t covered nearly as much in the media)?

    The 107% rule is completely unnecessary and will only hurt any new or slow teams more as there’s no trade-off. Why not exemption from the testing ban for them?

    And I feel the tyre supplier situation dragged on far too long.

    Of course the worst thing is the new wings rule. But as it wasn’t his idea – rather, he allowed the teams to consider it – I can’t blame him fully for it. It might be a rubbish idea, but that doesn’t mean he has to block it; it would be a dangerous precedent.

    1. The 107% rule is completely unnecessary and will only hurt any new or slow teams more as there’s no trade-off. Why not exemption from the testing ban for them?

      because then anyone could dump a ton of money on a start-up team, test til their blue in the face, and dominate that year. hardly legitimate competition, me thinks. it rewards a “hit and run” and punishes those making a long-term commitment.

      also, there is plenty of pre-season testing, yet hrt showed up at the first race with 0 miles on the clock.

  24. Very good choice Daykind i think Webber and Sutil

  25. But they have given out a very harsh penalty against Alonso which was just stupid they have done this to stop pepole coming up with the ferrari international Assistance story.Would you be able to reply to this and say why you think they dont give penalties please thanks = ]!!!

  26. Disapprove.

    I agree with several of the above comments that the proximity wings, although a stupid idea, aren’t Jean’s fault.

    But the Valencia Grand Prix left a really bad taste in my opinion. As a Ferrari fan, that alone tilts the scale to disapprove.

    1. I was gutted with the Valencia result too. However, with all the rules and loopholes they can’t prepare for every possible scenario. Noone could have predicted it. It’s sort of trial and error and was just bad luck and timing on Ferrari’s part (their strategy didn’t help them either). Furthermore, that wasn’t Jean’s fault but the stewards.

      I have to say that as a Ferrari fan I’m really not going to complain saying that Todt has stopped the team getting good results, afeterall, how many titles did he help us to? :)

      1. The entire Valencia gaffe would not have happened if Bernd Maylander in the safety car had picked up Vettel instead of Alonso and Massa. And the safety car is ALWAYS supposed to pick up the leading driver. Either Bernd was slow to react or Vettel had already crossed the start finish line before Webber had his crash.

        If it was the former, Bernd (and thus FIA’s fault), if it was the latter, it is still FIA’s fault as they have forgotten to foresee a situation where it possible that the safety car driver picks up a driver other than the leading driver.

        About Todt helping us reaching so many titles, well ha ha, yeah, pretty rich of me to start complaining against him now. Even without all this ill-luck Ferrari have been pretty poor this season :(. It is sad to see this state of affairs.

        1. And the safety car is ALWAYS supposed to pick up the leading driver.

          That wasn’t the case at the time of the European Grand Prix (see the regulations), though since then they have said they will try to ensure the safety car goes out in front of the leader.

          But really, when the race director sees an accident like Mark Webber’s what should his priority be? Pressing the button which gets the medical car to the scene as quickly as possible, or staying his hand for a minute and a half so Ferrari’s race isn’t spoiled? To me it’s a no-brainer – you get help to the driver as quickly as possible.

        2. Vettel had already passed the pit exit. So they’d have had to wait a full lap to pick up Vettel.

          Although in this case probably the best action would have been to let Alonso and Massa past without delay. Or wait 5 seconds longer before coming out. Then no one would have been unfairly hindered by the safety car.

          BTW the new rules (or the safety car coming out 5 seconds earlier ahead of Vettel) would have ruined Vettel’s and Hamilton’s race too. It would have done nothing to help Alonso and Massa.

  27. Disapprove.

    Too invisible while Whiting is selling races en Bernie is seeking more money in stead of nicer circuits.

  28. schweinsteiger
    21st July 2010, 16:42

    Keith, this section is a filler. I don’t see the point of it, you could do it yearly instead of monthly. Todt is here to stay so no point in pricking him at the first opportunity

    1. Keith does this monthly because clearly, as the polls have shown, opinion on the Todt presidency can change quickly. And considering that several articles are written every single day here (as opposed to zero between the 16th and 19th on this website: http://www.formula1.com/news/ ), I see no reason for this being a “filler” article.

  29. I approve, definitely better than his predecessor. F1 is a calmer place … at least we tend to disagree/argue on situations/judgments on the track rather than futile politics.

  30. I don’t like some of the rules announced recently, such as the proximity wings and the 107% qualifying rule. I think the proximity wing was mainly FOTA but I am not sure about the other rules.

    The fact that Todt doesn’t seem to want to hog the headlines like his predecessor is
    a good thing.

    I am concerned at how long it is taking to decide on the 13th team for next season though.

  31. at least he is doing a better job than old Max ;)

  32. I voted “No opinion” since while I am pleased that we’ve finally got a president that simply gets on with the job without attracting too much attention, the recent safety car incidents at Monaco and Valencia were poorly handled enough to keep my mouse pointer away from “Approve”. On the other hand, he is visiting other racing events to observe how things are done, and if NASCAR caution periods can teach him anything, I may vote “Apporve” next time.

  33. Jez Playense
    21st July 2010, 22:20

    OK. You disapprove of JT/ FIA because:
    FOTA introduces wing idea? Fail
    Signing new tyre supplier was not done in days ? Fail
    107% rule – all current teams would pass – you believe F1 needs even slower cars? Fail
    Ensuring F1 does not have another USF1 clown? Fail
    Developing new strategies with stewards? Fail

    Keep up the good work, but consider the SC rules. What about no passing, no pitstops, no position changes under SC?

  34. Craig Woollard
    21st July 2010, 22:55

    Every single time up until this time I voted agree, this time, I’ve disagreed… There are two reasons why this time round he’s dissapointed me, adjustible rear wings, and also the tyre supplier, this should have been sorted much sooner, and I was begging that there was going to be a tyre war for 2011…

  35. I voted disprove for the first time. The 107% rule, and the fact the FIA haven’t made a decision on which team will make the gird next season yet.

    Then there’s the fact they took so long to confirm pirelli.

  36. Disapprove, but it was “mildly disapprove”.

    safety car – why is it so complicated? get the safety car out as fast as possible, close the pit lane to all cars except those in a dangerous condition (i.e. cars in a condition that would normally get them black flagged if they continue), set a max speed limit and let the cars filter past the safety car until the race leader is the first car behind it.

    107% – It’s just not necessary. If the front drivers can’t overtake slower cars safely then they shouldn’t be at the front. Getting rid of the blue flags will get rid of the expectation that they will just get out of the way, which will lead to much less erratic driving by the backmarkers.

    tyres – Todd could’ve/should’ve stepped in sooner to get it resolved, but at least he did.

    13th team – Again they should be moving faster on this if they don’t want a repeat of last year with HRT not turning a wheel before the first race weekend.

    road rules – If the drivers are expected to be ambassadors for safe road driving (and I believe they should be) then you need to enforce it somehow, but either through personal fines which go towards an F1 road safety awareness campaign, or make the super licence conditional on a good road licence record. But definitely no points penalties.

    What I do approve of is that the FIA are, quite quickly and with little fuss, making changes where problems have been highlighted by recent events. I just don’t agree with the changes they’ve made.

  37. Electrolite
    22nd July 2010, 13:16

    Only time I’ve disapproved – I don’t like the new rules. Also with some of the new rules he dillied and dallied about a bit before making decisions with the FIA.

    I’m really surprised ‘F-ducts’ and double diffusers are banned for next year, but push to pass buttons are being introduced.

  38. I voted disapproval this time, based on my opinion that the proximity-wing concept as an unnecessary complexity that could have been avoided — and because I was surprised to hear the FIA apparently wants to introduce competing tyre manufacturers in the WRC again for next season.

  39. Just what the RACE drivers need is another lite on their steering wheel telling them how, what, and when to race!!!! What a bunch of crap (Americanism). How about Todd letting the race car drivers drive their cars or just make them slot cars…….. R & R

  40. And it will be the real moment of truth for Todt’s FIA now. I’m very interested, how they will judge on Ferrari’s cheating in Germany?

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