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


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

Posted on Categories Articles in full, Jean TodtTags

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

    Jump to comment page: 1 2
    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.


      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?”


      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.


      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].


    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.

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