Jean Todt’s Approval Rating 2011: Part 2

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Jean Todt, Marco Tronchetti Provera, Istanbul, 2011

Jean Todt, Marco Tronchetti Provera, Istanbul, 2011

With Bahrain, a 21-race calendar, rules changes and more on the agenda, it’s been a busy three months for Jean Todt.

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

F1 Fanatic looks 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


Much has already been written on the vexed subject of Bahrain, so here’s a brief recap plus links to more below.

At the time of the last Approval Rating the Bahrainis had been given three months to decide if their race could take place. After that the FIA granted them another month to make their mind up.

An FIA delegation was sent to Bahrain and sent back a favourable report. The World Motor Sport Council unanimously agreed to restore the race to the calendar, in the place of the Indian Grand Prix, which was moved to a new date two weeks after the season was originally supposed to end.

The teams objected and Bernie Ecclestone (who had sat in the WMSC meeting) proposed a new calendar reverting back to the original schedule. The Bahrainis also dropped efforts to reinstate the race. The WMSC held a fax vote and unanimously agreed to accept the change, dropping Bahrain and restoring India to its original date.

2013 rules

The WMSC agreed that a fax vote could be held before the end of this month on whether to postpone the new 2013 technical regulations.

These include a move to 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engines (announced in December). The rules on vodywork and wings will also be revised but will not include a rumoured shift towards ‘ground effect’-style aerodynamics.

2012 F1 calendar

A 21-race F1 calendar for 2012 was ratified by the WMSC.

However Todt said afterwards that only 20 races will take place.

Exhaust-blown diffusers

Restrictions on the use of so-called ‘hot-blown diffusers’ will come into force at the British Grand Prix. Teams will be restricted in how they can use the exhaust gasses to feed the diffuser when the car is not accelerating.

Rules changes for 2012 will further restrict the design of exhaust-blown diffusers.

Anti-doping drive

The drivers have been given instructions on how to ensure they comply with rules banning drug taking.

World Endurance Championship

Unfortunately it was not possible to cover the details of the FIA’s new World Endurance Championship when it was announced, but it will likely be of interest to many F1 fans.

The FIA is in effect resurrecting the championship which collapsed in the early nineties. The series will be based on this year’s Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and include the Le Mans 24 Hours as a round.

It will be promoted by the Automobile Club de l?Ouest.

Ecclestone criticism

Ecclestone had some sharp words for Todt shortly after the last Approval Rating: “He has been travelling around the world doing what Max didn?t do too much ?ǣ kissing the babies and shaking the hands.

“It is probably good for the FIA but we don?t need it in Formula 1.”

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 (13%)
  • Disapprove (79%)
  • No opinion (9%)

Total Voters: 255

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Tell us how you voted and explain why in the comments.

Jean Todt?s Approval Ratings

Jan 2010 Feb 2010 Mar 2010 Apr 2010 May 2010 Jun 2010 Jul 2010 Aug 2010 Sep 2010 Oct 2010 Nov 2010 Dec 2010 Jan 2011 Feb 2011 Mar 2011
Approve 54.73 56.68 52.84 62.68 78.42 52.95 53.76 59.89 44.7 60.44 70.75 52.84 46.93
Disapprove 15.94 13.99 24.45 14.11 7.89 23.18 23.98 17.47 43.04 23.58 17.72 34.06 37.28
No opinion 29.33 29.32 22.71 23.21 13.69 23.88 22.26 22.64 12.26 15.98 11.53 13.1 15.79
Date Approve Disapprove No opinion
January-March 2011 47% 37% 16%
December 2010 53% 34% 13%
November 2010 71% 18% 11%
October 2010 60% 24% 16%
September 2010 44% 43% 12%
August 2010 60% 17% 23%
July 2010 54% 24% 22%
June 2010 53% 23% 24%
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%

The Jean Todt Approval Rating was a monthly feature in 2010. It is being run quarterly during 2011.

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79 comments on Jean Todt’s Approval Rating 2011: Part 2

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  1. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 20th June 2011, 12:02

    The comments section of this article will be an interesting place to watch. *sits back with a coffee* :P

    • Kodongo said on 20th June 2011, 20:29

      Disapprove. I have several questions for Mssr. Todt.

      1)Bahrain. Explain.

      2) If you introduce three disparate initiatives simultaneously (KERS, DRS, heavy wear tyres), how can one distinguish how well each individual aspect works?

      3) How is it, in 2011, that the fans don’t know who is using KERS and when (unless you watch on TV and are onboard)? Wouldn’t it be logical to show a green light on the T-Cam to indicate someone is KERSing?

      4) How heavy are the cars going to get?
      2010: 605kg
      2011: 620kg
      2012: 640kg
      If the idea is to remove the advanatage of smaller, lighter drivers why not mandate that the seat and driver must weigh at least 100kg? All drivers (I presume) are under this weight so any additional weight could be added to the seat (70% down the back, 30% underneath; human body weight is about 70% above the waist, 30% below. So if the driver and seat weighed 70kg, he would have to add 21kg to the back of the seat and 9kg underneath.

      5) 107% rule: If you make a rule and do not enforce it at all, why does it exist?

      6) Is it logical to have tyres rule which encourage drivers to drive as few laps as possible on Saturday?

      7) What is the definitive upper limit for number of races in a season?

      and the most interesting question:

      8) How is F1 supporting new drivers to enter the series?
      Hamilton, Vettel, Kovalainen and Rosberg were the last drivers who did thousands of kilometres testing before racing in anger. Now we see a high number of one and done drivers – or half-and-done drivers (Toro Rosso) – and older drivers are more valued e.g. Schumacher, Barrichello, De la Rosa over Valsecchi (Perez) et cetera. Where is the next generation of Formula One going to come from if by the time they have come to terms with the series, they are on their way out (Hulkenberg)?

  2. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 20th June 2011, 12:03

    Given the Bahrain fiasco I suspect this will be the first time a plurality disapprove of Todt.

    Myself, I’m voting Disapprove for (I think) the first time. Firstly because of the poor handling of the Bahrain situation, and secondly because of the flip-flopping over the 2013 engine rules. Pick a set of regulations and stick to them (preferably something allowing a degree of innovation, but at this stage anything will do).

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2011, 12:29

      Very much feel the same on the current vote Andy.

      • Scribe (@scribe) said on 20th June 2011, 12:39

        Second disaprove from me. Dismall handling of the Bahrain issue, utter flop on the 2013 regulations which were nearly very exciting indeed.

        Very upset indeed that we lost the possiblility of a return to underfloor aero, would have been the right time, cars and circuits are safe enough, added to efficient turbo’s we could have had exciting racing, especially with these tyres, and possibility for green developments to prevent environmental preassure on our sport.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 20th June 2011, 12:41

      Pick a set of regulations and stick to them


    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 20th June 2011, 13:28

      Well said Andy, count me in for dissaprove on the same grounds.

    • dyslexicbunny (@dyslexicbunny) said on 20th June 2011, 14:08

      Bahrain makes Todt look like a moron. Why the teams were never asked before a decision was even made is beyond me.

      The same thing is happening with 2013 rules and the calendar. They said one thing and we’re likely to get another.

      All this flip-flopping makes him look incompetent. Either announce a decision and stick to your guns or confer with the teams privately and announce the decision. Announcing one thing and then changing it shows weakness in resolve and brings to mind how the Weiner mess went.

      Hot-blowing is likely to be a mess as well.

    • Spaulding (@spaulding) said on 20th June 2011, 15:57

      Pretty much my sentiments too. There seems to be a serious lack of confident rulings coming out of Todt as of late, and unfortunatly that strikes of weak leadership, or possibly puppetry. I voted no opinion for the first time last time (I felt things should play out a bit more) and this time I am voting disapprove as many of the problems have played out in a less than satisfactory way. At Todt’s level, he needs to make an informed and level headed decision and then stick too it, not waffle around.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 20th June 2011, 19:01

      Agreed. I’ve voted no opinion before, but I think this is the first time I’ve voted disapprove… and for a number of reasons. First and foremost the fumbling of Bahrain. Second, the elimination of ground effects for 2013 and the permanent inclusion of DRS. Third, the mid season manipulation of this year’s regulations after all teams have designed their cars around the concept. To be fair, I should say that I think the World Endurance Championship sounds great, but that’s certainly not enough to outweigh my displeasure on the other issues.

  3. Ben Bailey said on 20th June 2011, 12:04

    What a mess over Bahrain! However Todt has been good in diffusing hysteria around Hamilton driving.
    Remove DRS, cap championship at 20 races, bring in v6 turbos and push on with underfloor areo for 2013 and he will be back up there again.

    • snowman (@snowman) said on 20th June 2011, 13:43

      The problem with the Hamilton situation was Todt said he was considering banning him for 6 races before Hamilton wrote to him apologizing!

      I can’t even start to explain how ridiculous that would have been.

      • Solo (@solo) said on 22nd June 2011, 17:47

        Yeah that comment was beyond ridiculous. Sic races ban for complains about incidents that were not clear cut his fault as his critics will like us to believe.

  4. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 20th June 2011, 12:06

    I voted no opinion – thats not because I don’t have an opinion, but because I disapprove and approve with Todt’s work in equal measure.

    The Bahrain fiasco needs little said about it. Thats a disapprove. The new endurance world series is a fantastic move though. Hopefully it’ll get some good coverage and rival ALMS.

    Whats making me uncertain though is the 2013 engine rules. If these get changed then it will be a massive disapprove from me

    • I agree the Bahrain situation has dragged everything through the mud (sand?), and that far outweighed the goodness of a new endurance series (I can’t believe there wasn’t one already).

      Plus why announce a 21 race calendar and then say there won’t be 21 races? Announce a 20 race calendar, or don’t and wait until you’ve chosen 20 races.

  5. Fixy (@fixy) said on 20th June 2011, 12:07

    It’s the first time I voted against – but he deserved it. Not only did he not firmly oppose the Bahrain GP, but he was even for it. The decision to drop the race was taken after the GP organisers dropped their bids.

  6. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 20th June 2011, 12:08

    On the face of it, Todt appears to have done as much good ad bad. But the Bahrain issue should never have gone that far, no matter what your feelings about racing there. It was an image blow that could have been far worse for F1. More so, Todt was convincingly trounced by Bernie and Mosley, although to Jean’s credit Bernie was found out too.

    All this and the rather easy climb-down on the 2013 aero rules (including the retention of DRS) leads me to vote Disapprove.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 20th June 2011, 12:20

      The Bahrain issue didn’t get too much media coverage over here, so I could only go off what everyone was saying on here. Hence, I can’t accurately judge how it has all affected F1’s image. But the fact that there was so much indecision and mind changing made it all quite a mess, and I too had to vote Disapprove. Hopefully this 2013 regulation issue gets sorted a lot quicker.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 20th June 2011, 13:42

      For me, the indecision is a big part of the reason to not approve of what he is doing.

      I can understand the rule changes being complex, with many people fore it, and others digging in, but that just meant that we didn’t see it when it went wrong earlier: when they decided on 2013 with certain rules. That is when the options should have been carefully considered and weighed, before deciding.

      I know that the final aero rules for 2013 were “to be discussed”, so I guess I shouldn’t count those in it, but then again, even there it could have been made clear what the goals were, including not letting costs for teams rise too much from it, and we would have had a much clearer outlook.

      With Bahrain we see something similar, instead of deciding (as the rules normally say, don’t they?) missed is missed, see next year, the decision was, for un(officially)stated reasons, postponed, and again postponed. That couldn’t be done again, so FIA came up with a decision, which in the end was rushed and not carefully weighed, and ended up being mooted.

      It is likely not solely Todt doing this, it is more that FIA has been working like this for a long time.

      Still, with Todt they chose an insider as president, and while he has managed to clear up and improve some of the procedures around races, noticeably, the ongoing refinements of the stewarding process (Canada even a statement to explain their reasoning!), inherent in this choice seems to be that he won’t be able to clean up the larger issue.

      Not to end too negatively, while Ecclestone might deride the networking tour by Todt, having an FIA endurance racing championship again, working together with ACO to make it happen, clearly shows what good results that can lead to.

  7. DavidS (@davids) said on 20th June 2011, 12:19

    Strongly disapprove.

    The handling of Bahrain was simply appalling.

  8. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 20th June 2011, 12:24

    I’m no soothsayer, but I’ve got a feeling this is not goign to go well for Todt!

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 20th June 2011, 12:26

    I know this is going to be controversial, but I voted positively.

    Despite everything (or perhaps because of it) that was said about Bahrain, we will never truly know what led to some of the decisions were made. After all has been said and done, I remain firmly convinced that there are still nuances to the story that we never heard, and never will. I also know that Bahrain is going to be the headline act in this thread, and I wanted to call attention to some of the positive things Todt has done. Assuming, for the moment, that the Bahrain situation was unequivocally a direct result of Todt’s failures as FIA President, then perhaps these things do not redeem him – but nor should they be ignored out of hand.

    I believe that the 2013 engine rules will be good for the sport, and that Todt went a long way towards undoing the damage of the Mosley years with his assertation that when it comes time for a renegotiation of the Concorde Agreement, the FIA must play a bigger role in the commercial side of the sport, particularly in deciding where the sport should go. I am also quite pleased to see the plans for the World Endurance Championship and the anti-doping push, which I think speak to Todt’s vision of motorsport as a whole, rather than Mosley only caring about inflicting his vision of what Formula 1 should be onto people who did not want it.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2011, 12:35

      While I wholeheartedly feel, Todt is doing a lot better of a job than Mosley was doing for at least his last presidency, possibly the one before that as well, the handling of all major issues so far has been far to messy to approve of how he is handing things.

      Tyres – a mess, no one responsible, a good desicion but far to late and blurred
      Bahrain – far to messy, it could have been as easy as to say, better luck next time right in March
      2013 rules – decided, not decided, not sure, whatever –> a mess as well.

      I fully get, that this is about getting everyone in on desicions, and its a tough job where he seems to get things done eventually.
      But the semi-firm statements made and then backtracking, losing track and finally deciding on things in the nick of time, mostly seen to be pushed by someone else, is just not what any sport needs.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 20th June 2011, 12:44

        Tyres – a mess, no one responsible, a good desicion but far to late and blurred

        Sorry, but I don’t really see what the problem with the tyres is. The only real issue has been in the colour-coding of the sidewalls.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 20th June 2011, 12:48

          I think it’s about the decision last year over who would supply them.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2011, 5:16

            I think the problem was that last year, the teams were really keen on the Pirellis – but before the matter could be settled, Michelin made a really good offer and dialled the whole process out again. I’m pretty sure that in such a situation, the teams are obligated to consider any bid that it made; they can’t simply discard it without deliberation.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th June 2011, 12:50

          I was looking back at the struggle to actually get a tyre partner last year. It showed the – by now – trademark Todt approach for the first time.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 20th June 2011, 13:17

      I believe that the 2013 engine rules will be good for the sport, and that Todt went a long way towards undoing the damage of the Mosley years with his assertation that when it comes time for a renegotiation of the Concorde Agreement, the FIA must play a bigger role in the commercial side of the sport, particularly in deciding where the sport should go. I am also quite pleased to see the plans for the World Endurance Championship and the anti-doping push, which I think speak to Todt’s vision of motorsport as a whole, rather than Mosley only caring about inflicting his vision of what Formula 1 should be onto people who did not want it.

      I actually agree with all of this.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 20th June 2011, 13:48

        Me too, that’s where it shows that despite everything, he is so far doing a better job than Mosley was at the end of his last term.

        But as I said above, probably too extensively, the process of making big decisions seems too drawn out and messy, and he isn’t helping that at all, and I think it goes wrong at the start, where he (and FIA) doesn’t manage to get all the issues, concerns or stakes clear when the discussion starts.

    • xtophe (@xtophe) said on 21st June 2011, 8:46

      we will never truly know what led to some of the decisions were made. After all has been said and done, I remain firmly convinced that there are still nuances to the story that we never heard, and never will.

      The same could be said for any decisionmaker in the world. Yet we judge politicians every day, even when we don’t see the entire picture. Bahrain was handled in a clumsy way from start to finish, with an ironic climax as the organizer decided to give up themselves.

      The other points are indeed positive, but we can’t quite make a clear judgement yet as they are all things that still need to happen in the future.

  10. Chippie (@chippie) said on 20th June 2011, 12:35

    I voted in disapproval, because the safety of the fans and teams couldn’t be guaranteed, so the FIA really screwed that up, but also for the FIA’s naive assumption that the teams would be willing to play along and go to Bahrain, leaving India until December. The whole thing was a mess. It was a ridiculous decision to say yes to Bahrain, and Jean Todt is the head of the organisation and the only person I can really hold accountable.

  11. Hairs (@hairs) said on 20th June 2011, 12:36

    He gets a disapprove this time for showing a remarkable lack of nous and steadiness over bahrain and the 2013 rules.

    Vanaten was ridiculed as an amateur candidate by Bernie – Regardless of the rights and wrongs of his appointment, I certainly never thought Todt would end up being seen as flummoxed. Foxy, underhanded, possibly unfair, yes. But not flummoxed.

    • Leon said on 20th June 2011, 22:51

      This is the bottom line with Todt. He simply does not seem to have a strong sure hand in all the pronouncements he/FIA make. In virtually all his recent pronouncements on major issues in F1, he has been forced to withdraw some or all of FIA’s proposals after hostile reaction from some powerful lobby group.

      That must either mean that he doesn’t ask the right questions before he decides policy, or that he doesn’t listen properly to the answers he gets.

      Either way, this is not a very good sign for the future of F1. Todt needs to get a grip !

  12. Bigbadderboom (@bigbadderboom) said on 20th June 2011, 12:38

    Disappointed, sometimes bewildered and generally confused by Jean Todts period heading the FIA. He seems to lack key leadership qualities, the team he surrounds himself with must be running amock. Bahrain was a disaster with no consultation with FOTA (as was essential,) sent a no nothing to investigate the situation and then looked stupid when the teams done the decent thing when they said no.
    The current reg changes debacle seems just typical and what we are groing to expect from Todt and his clowns, who seem more obsessed with having Jean seen in the right light as oppossed to doing the right and correct thing.
    Very Strongly Disapprove, frankly i’m beggining to think his appointment a disaster for the FIA, especially when what they needed was a strong, charasmatic, influential leader, what they seem to have is a confused, misguided sycophant who trys to please all and yet annoys almost all.
    I’m no fan so have bitten my toungue for long enough, but I think my views have now been validated.

  13. Wheel Nut (@wheel-nut) said on 20th June 2011, 12:47

    The issue for me isn’t one of the decisions made, although Bahrain was wrong, but the style of leadership. You have the situation of the FIA making pronouncements and then looking inept as they have to retract or significantly change them under a hail of critisim. Surely it would be better to have some more low-key proposals, get feed back from all interested parties (and not just those who have your position) and develop a reasonable solution that tries to keep as many people with you and stick with it. The trouble is Todt, like many political operators, holds his own interests above everyone elses.

  14. robk23 (@robk23) said on 20th June 2011, 12:47

    Oooh I’ve been waiting for this! Bahrain fiasco equals automatic disapproval.

  15. David BR said on 20th June 2011, 12:52

    Total disapprove. Bahrain was a complete fiasco, ethically and in terms of F1’s PR worldwide. The FIA report was an insult to everyone’s intelligence. On those scores alone, Todt should resign. On F1 sporting issues, the shift to 4 cylinders seems utterly pointless and against the teams’ and fans’ wishes. And the postponement on the restrictions on hot blown diffusers was just weak.

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