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

  1. W-K (@w-k) said on 20th June 2011, 14:57

    Bahrain decision making was a fiasco.
    And regarding the 2013 engine change, in the present day financial climate, now is not the time to spend large sums developing a new engine no matter what its spec.

  2. Believe it or not, I actually now think Max Mosely was a better president than Jean Todt. Call me crazy, but MM wasn’t afraid to say what he needed to say, sometimes his views were wrong (in my opinion) and I see JT not actually doing much other than send people (not necessarily the right ones also) out to places to do his dirty work for him.

    MM was able to work a lot better with Bernie than JT, which is a major thing required if you are going to run Formula 1, GP2, GP3, GP2 Asia, and whatever series he runs/co-runs. Not to mention the safety restrictions put in place after the events of Imola 1994, and going to Ratzenberger’s funeral too. He done a lot of good during his time in Formula 1, and was a great successor to Balestre.

    I see that Jean Todt has done very little for Formula 1, or any other racing series run by the FIA for that fact. I thought the way he handled the ’13th team’ situation was silly. To decide that there will be a team, see loads of applicants arrive, and then tell them all that there will not be a 13th slot on the grid was quite pathetic. All I can see that he has done is that he approved the plans for the Circuit of the Americas, and the construction of the Buddh Circuit. Handling of Korea was also poor. This whole Bahrain farce just adds to the worries…

    My main concern however, is the regulations for 2013. 2012 will end in 17/18 months or so, and so far we have no idea what Formula 1 will look like. The teams appear just as clueless as we are, and many companies that produce things like engines, gearboxes, brakes and so forth at this rate, are going to have very little development time before the start of the 2013 season when testing gets underway in January.

    Don’t get me wrong, it was the right time for Mosely to retire, I just think that Jean Todt wasn’t the best guy for the job. I didn’t from the start and my opinion remains unchanged now…

  3. robbiepblake (@driftin) said on 20th June 2011, 15:37

    I’m unhappy. On top of the dreadful flip-flopping and indecisiveness over Bahrain which should have been the most easy decision in the world, that shows he’s not in touch with the strife over there, I also dislike the fact he said he considered banning Hamilton over some (imo) stupid but blatantly off the cuff remarks which didn’t reflect his actual opinion.

  4. maxthecat12 said on 20th June 2011, 16:15

    The rule changes in regard to engines won’t happy and Todt knows they won’t. I think he’s been clever here, trying to push changes that go against Ferrari’s heart and soul, who most accuse Todt of being in bed with and bound to favour knowing full well they won’t happen and at the same time losing his ‘Ferrari puppet’ tag he’s had since taking the job.

    For all the rule changes proposed, anyone who thinks they’ll happen doesn’t know F1, it will the teams who decide the direction F1 takes, it always is and always will be. Without the teams there is no F1 and the FIA have nothing. Lets be honest, if the teams broke away from the FIA but still raced the F1 Championship without the FIA at the beginning of it, will anyone really care?

  5. hohum said on 20th June 2011, 17:40

    I voted against,but then I would be hard to please as I see the FIA as nothing but another parasite riding on the back of F1 sucking the lifeblood of innovation out of the sport. Why do we need so many middlemen, why can’t the constructors and the drivers sort out the rules and appoint a professional agent to negotiate contracts and promote the sport for no more than a 10% fee.

  6. George (@george) said on 20th June 2011, 17:59

    I voted down (I think) for the first time, mainly for the mess with Bahrain and 2013 engines (time’s ticking). I never thought I’d miss Mosley’s constant meddling, but Todt doesn’t seem to be doing anything at all, no decisions are being made.

    I’d forgotten about the return of WSC actually, I assume it it’ll remain the same as LMS currently, just with FIA approval?

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th June 2011, 21:08

    Unfortunately I had to tick ‘no’ on this occasion. Simply down to the Bahrain issue. I didn’t really care about the political/humanitarian side of things but make a decision and stick to it. The level of cohesion between the FIA, FOTA and FOM was poor at best, he should have brought them altogether and made them speak with one voice. I appreciate that’s a hard job, but it could have earned him a ‘yes’ from me so I think that particular aspect is very important.

  8. I disapprove. What he did about Bahrain is too much of a good reason to disapprove him

  9. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 21st June 2011, 6:27

    Disapprove. Not even close but Bahrain would have overruled any success elsewhere. Of which there was not much anyway. He’s even failing to help his former team win…

  10. Mike (@mike) said on 21st June 2011, 8:29

    It’s not all bad, Things like the anti-doping drive are perfectly choson ideas.

    However Bahrain forces me to vote disprove.

    Todt needs to step back, take a big breath, and get out of the FIA zone he is in. Think about what is right. Not politics.

  11. Victor_RO (@victor_ro) said on 21st June 2011, 11:22

    On one side, I firmly disapprove of the whole handling of the Bahrain issue, it literally imploded in the FIA’s hands when they could have canned it definitively and avoided all this mess.

    However, I approve of the World Endurance Championship concept as long as they leave the running of it in the hands of the ACO and get the petrol-diesel equivalence right, this year’s Le Mans is a perfect springboard for the start of great things in endurance racing. So, on that basis, I’ve voted “no opinion”, can’t say I fully approve or disapprove.

  12. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2011, 12:18

    More good news for Todt:

    He’s trying to get the WRC back into the Middle East, since Abu Dhabi was not put on the 2012 calendar and Jordan has been dropped for next year. The WRC teams aren’t enthused about Middle Eastern rounds because of crowd numbers, but the entire point of the WRC is to race in some of the more extreme conditions on earth – and the Middle Eastern rounds certainly do that. Rally Jordan in particular was very unique, because the drivers sometimes struggled to see where the actual road was. And because the roads had been graded especially for the event (making the rally the first on the calendar was was effectively man-made) and sprayed with water from the Dead Sea, the surface had a diamond hardness not unlike bedrock that was murder on tyres. That’s a very unique surface type, and exactly the kind of thing the WRC should be rallying on. So kudos for Todt for trying to make it happen.

  13. Chris Goldsmith said on 21st June 2011, 13:45

    Although I couldn’t pssibly approve of how things have panned out for the FIA this year, it’s hard to hold Todt personally responsible for it. He is, let’s face it, the public face of a large organisation. Let’s not forget that the ill-judged decision to reinstate Bahrain was taken after the FIA members voted unanimously in favour of doing so. Each with their own reasons for doing so, of course, some financial, some political, some perhaps even genuinely suckered in by the hokey report. The point is that Todt didn’t take this decision all by himself, and so it would be unfair to hold him personally responsible.

    Some other issues, however, do seem to bear the hallmarks of poor management. The issue of the 2013 regulations, constantly deliberated on but never galvanised by a solid decision either way, leaving teams and sponsors in limbo. Significant amounts of money have been invested into developing these engines and yet there’s a chance that all of that might have to be binned, or at least put on the back burner for a few years. Whether you approve or disapprove of the proposed regulations (and personally I’m in favour of the turbo engines), the whole situation has been terribly mishandled, and has the potential to overrun the deadlne for the next concorde agreement, at which point things will likely remain as they are. A terrible situation for all concerned, and much to the detriment of the sport.

    It’s not all bad though, working with the ACO to create a world endurance series is a brilliant step forward, and hopefully the first step towards raising the profile of sportscar racing globally.

    So mixed feelings from me. I would say that Todt hasn’t demonstrated a strong sense of leadership or direction at any point, and perhaps has swung too far int he opposite direction from Moselys authoritarian style, leaving the FIA looking weak and indecisive.

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