Tag Archives: Max

F1weekly podcast # 386

Jean Todt

Jean Todt is the new president of the FIA

Jean Todt: Born February 25, 1946 in the commune of Pierrefort in the Cantal department of France, his ancestry being French and Polish, Todt’s motorsport career began when he took his father’s Mini Cooper S for a ride with a friend. Thence he moved to various driving roles in rally series, but decided his strength was as a co-driver; he continued as such with the Peugeot Talbot Sport rally team until his retirement from competition in 1981.

The team moved Todt into a management-oriented position, charging him to organize the design and construction of the 205 Turbo 16 for the 1984 World Rally Championship season. After a slow start, the 205 won the world title in 1985 and 1986; other Todt-managed models continued to dominate, winning rally championships, hill climbs, and with the highly successful Peugeot 905, the Le Mans 24 hours and the World Sportscar Championship, into the 1990s. Peugeot, despite Todt’s continual urging, refused to enter the Formula One Championship, and when a position opened at the Ferrari F1 team, Todt took the opportunity in 1993.

Todt was the first senior appointment of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo who had been placed in charge of a once legendary team which “had become something of a joke. The Todt/di Montezemolo leadership hired Michael Schumacher in 1996, with whom came strategist Ross Brawn, and designer Rory Byrne. The Independent credited Todt with melding this combination “into a cohesive structure devoid of the polemics which were so rife. The fortunate combination produced a nearly-unbeatable team. Todt and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo have since been considered responsible for turning Ferrari from a has-been team, helpless without founder Enzo Ferrari, into the powerhouse it is today.

Following much speculation as to FIA President Max Mosley’s impending retirement, rumors arose in 2004 to the effect that Todt would run for the office. Mosley commented that though Todt would make an excellent president, he was quite happy at Ferrari; however, it had long been assumed that when Michael Schumacher retired from F1, Todt would leave his job. In an apparent bid to maintain Todt’s loyalty, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo promoted Todt to the head of the entire Ferrari operation, including street car production.

He remained as the Team Principal of the Scuderia F1 Team for one more season, and was replaced by Stefano Domenicali on 1 January 2008, however he still remained as CEO of Ferrari. On March 17, 2009, it was announced that Todt had resigned, leaving Ferrari completely.

The French government has made Todt a Chevalier of its Legion d’Honneur. He was further honoured with the Grand Officier rank of the honour in January 2007. Also, in July 2006, Todt was given the official Malaysian royal title of ‘Datuk’ by Sultan of Terengganu, which is the Malaysian equivalent of a British knighthood he is now widely addressed in Malaysian media as Datuk Seri Jean Todt.


Max makes peace



Max Mosley agrees to FOTA’ demands! There will be no breakaway series.

Hockenheim will no longer host the German Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton to drive Senna’ McLaren MP4-4 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Max Mosley will not stand for re-election when his fourth term ends in October.

Tune in to Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed for the latest in race news.


Max Mosley


Patience Maxed Out in Formula One

By Nasir Hameed
What a difference a year makes. On the eve of the 2008 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the FIA/FOM duo dropped a bombshell on Formula 1 fraternity that the birthplace of FIA World Championship will no longer host the race after 2009. Amid much despair Donington Park was announced as the new home of British Grand Prix starting in 2010.

Fast forward twelve months. Now FOTA has returned the favor by announcing the formation of a breakaway series next season. The Formula One Teams Association, led by Ferrari’s Luca di Montezemolo, has been at odds with FIA and FOM over rules and regulations, and the age old problem, money.

The FIA instituted budget cap in the wake of global financial meltdown. Finger pointing led to airing the dirty laundry in public which led family secrets out in the open. The $100m sweet deal Ferrari had with FOM, which the Italian stallion received before any other teams saw a dime of sports revenue. Then came the revelation of “veto power” bestowed on the Scuderia on any rule changes.

The now defunct GPMA, Grand Prix Manufacturers Association, was dismantled by these perks, or as Bernie put it, “We bought Ferrari’s loyalty”.

Now the high-priced prancing horse has galloped away from the loyalty barn, with very heavy excess baggage: McLaren, Renault and Red Bull to name a few. Lawyers on both sides are already working overtime. After all, as the late Paul Newman once put it, “they have to eat, too”.

FIA is threatening legal action for breach of contract while on the other hand FOTA is assuring Formula 1 fans that their show will commence next year with, among other promises, affordable ticket prices. While the contribution to Formula 1 motor racing by both Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone is immense, racing fans are not too excited to dish out over $300 for a ticket, watch every year as one traditional venue after another disappear from the Formula 1 calendar to a race in front of empty seats where majority of the locals have not the passion nor the purse for a Grande Epreuve event.

The casualty list is long. No Grand Prix in the land of Fangio or the nation that hosted the very first Grand Prix over a century ago. The Dynamic Duo could not even mint money in the largest commercial market in the world.

Montezemolo spoke for man on the street when he said “Races are going to cities because they have a nice skyline”.

The arrogance and complete disregard for the thousands of fans at the 2005 US Grand Prix is not forgotten by the millions who watched the farce on television or were “lucky” enough to be at the historic six-car race.

The flamboyant Irishman Eddie Jordan, famous for giving Michael Schumacher his first ride in Formula 1, recently commented, “You could re-float the Titantic on the egos in Formula 1”.

Sixty years of history, heritage and sacrifices of Grand Prix combatants should not be allowed to sink without a trace as powerful, extremely wealthy men engage in self-destruction of the pinnacle of motor racing.

Rumors are rampant. The new FOTA led series will be managed by IMG, International Management Group, race in Argentina and in the streets of Helsinki with two or more events in the US alone.

Mosley and Bernie have vowed a ferocious legal battle. The long drawn-out court room sessions are sure to leave no winners behind.

D–as in Di Montezemolo– day is tomorrow in the city of lights as he faces Max Mosley at the World Motorsport Council meeting in what could be the termed as Gunfight at the F1 Coral.

Do we really need another Grand Prix near Tombstone, AZ?

Racing fans around the world are hoping that among such bright men common sense will prevail and a happy medium will be met. And the show, one show, will go on next season.


Final descent



Formula One – The Final Descent. As Etihad Airways Airbus 340 proudly displays its new colors for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Captain Max Mosley and Flight Officer Bernard Ecclestone are feeling loss in cabin pressure. The friendly skies between the power brokers of Formula One is now experiencing severe turbulence as their authority is hijacked by the formation of a separate series by FOTA.

A hard landing is expected for both sides. Mosley has threatened legal action against the eight teams unwilling to buckle their seatbelts per his announcement. Flying in first class with the magic and myth of Ferrari name is FOTA Chief Luca di Montezemolo.

As Formula One cars race by hangar straight in Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, racing fans around the world are hoping the next few weeks will see the arrival of common sense. Etihad is the Arabic word for United, and that’s what Formula One should be when the 2010 season takes-off.

We hope you enjoy the journey with F1weekly.