Jean Todt?s Approval Rating VII

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

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75 comments on Jean Todt?s Approval Rating VII

  1. Karan said on 21st July 2010, 12:37

    Wow what happened in May??

  2. DGR-F1 said on 21st July 2010, 13:16

    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…..

  3. aquatic_mammal said on 21st July 2010, 13:35

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


  4. Flippy PK said on 21st July 2010, 14:07

    he gets my approval because he’s not mosely.

  5. 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.

  6. LuvinF1 said on 21st July 2010, 15:11

    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.

  7. Sutil.M said on 21st July 2010, 15:19

    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.

    • daykind said on 21st July 2010, 15:26

      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.

      • Sutil.M said on 21st July 2010, 15:30

        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

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 21st July 2010, 15:38

        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.

        • daykind said on 21st July 2010, 15:48

          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.

          • Patrickl said on 22nd July 2010, 9:22

            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.

  8. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 21st July 2010, 15:34

    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.

    • f1yankee said on 21st July 2010, 20:18

      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.

  9. Sutil.M said on 21st July 2010, 15:40

    Very good choice Daykind i think Webber and Sutil

  10. Sutil.M said on 21st July 2010, 15:51

    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 = ]!!!

  11. sumedh said on 21st July 2010, 16:00


    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.

    • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 21st July 2010, 17:07

      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? :)

      • sumedh said on 21st July 2010, 17:55

        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.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st July 2010, 18:12

          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.

        • Patrickl said on 22nd July 2010, 9:26

          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.

  12. andyc said on 21st July 2010, 16:33


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

  13. schweinsteiger said on 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

    • David A said on 22nd July 2010, 8:51

      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: ), I see no reason for this being a “filler” article.

  14. sasbus said on 21st July 2010, 17:26

    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.

  15. PJA said on 21st July 2010, 17:55

    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.

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