Meanwhile, not in Spain…

FIA President Jean Todt turned up in Spain on Saturday night to attend the Spanish GP, having spent the day in Monaco, watching a Formula E race on the lower part of the F1 circuit (the hill apparently being a little too much for the e-mobiles to manage). In the meantime, the road safety world is getting very upset about Todt’s appointment to be UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s special envoy for road safety. If the criticism was only coming from one or two organisations one could write them off as nutters, but a letter has been published that is supported by no fewer than 100 non government organisations from over 50 countries (yes, these are the correct numbers) saying that they “strongly disapprove” of the appointment of Todt, described as “the head of the International Automobile Federation/Formula 1”. The letter says that there are “multiple conflicts of interest” in the appointment and that it is “akin to appointing the head of a tobacco company as a Special Envoy for Cancer”. The letter added that the appointment was a private choice made by the Secretary General and that the system of such appointments was “antiquated and secretive”.

Oops, looks like JT sat on a right old hornets’ nest.

Maybe fixing Formula 1 is better option after all…

Very little is expected to come out of the F1 Strategy Group meeting next week.

24 thoughts on “Meanwhile, not in Spain…

  1. “Maybe fixing Formula 1 is better option after all…” In theory, it most certainly is. But I’m still waiting for Jean Todt to grow a backbone and let the powers-that-be have it.

  2. So one car can’t do a race distance and they can’t go up hills? This does not inspire me to buy an electric car, nor does it make me think they are in any way the future.

  3. Interesting development isn’t Joe ?
    I wanted to say this for a loooong time, here it goes:
    My feeling is that Bernie is complaining about the noise; the easiness of driving; the cost; just to create a diversion for the unaffordabilty of today’s F1 for regular folks like you&me that HE is responsible for (read pay-per-view TV, unGodly expansive GP tickets, irrelevant GP host). Quite honestly it feels like he compoains about those FIA rules because they don’t come from him !

  4. Crikey, those are strong words, and they can’t be written off either because it’s from multiple sources. I’m guessing that Todt thought he’d just stroll into the job and it would be a cake walk. Suddenly, trying to sort out F1 looks the easier option.

    I’m guessing that there’s a fair few people in the paddock laughing up their sleeves about this………..

  5. Very little is expected to come out of the F1 Strategy Group meeting next week.

    Same as it ever was!

  6. “the hill apparently being a little too much for the e-mobiles to manage”

    I hope Formule E sues you for defamation someday. You don’t care about it and know extremely little about it, but you still feel the need to sling mud at it.

  7. So the best these organizations could come up with is to compare the UN’s road safety campaign to folks trying to eliminate cancer while likening themselves to tobacco companies. Brilliant!! It’s been scientifically proven that there is a causal relationship between tobacco use and cancer deaths. Are they saying the same exists for motor racing and highway fatalities?

  8. Suppose we can expect JT to ask for a “Life Jacket” therefore wait for some Bernie Special Envoy flack deployment bullshit. ( Genuine chuckle Joe about the E racers not making it up the hill 🙂 – but have noticed that there is a growing number of good Sportscar drivers over there now, Yeah, I know the Guys who didn’t make it in F1.)

  9. What on earth are you talking about, the FIA is not Formula 1.
    The FIA is responsible for Automobile Associations around the world. Which promote driver safety.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FIA_member_organisations

    The AA in New Zealand is a member of the FIA,
    The AA being the association in NZ you have to go to, to obtain a license, to get road side assistance, to do defensive driving, to insure your car.
    You cant just throw the FIA and Formula1 in the same category, Formula 1 makes up a small percentage of Jean Todts time, he spends most of his year on things other than Formula1.
    In fact, the comments about the “Rare appearance” of Jean Todt at the F1 Race in Spain solidifies my comments.

    No conflict of interest here, just people who have no idea what they are talking about.

    1. Funny that.
      I live and drive in the same country, have never had the need to use the AA’s services in any form whatsoever.
      Wonder what I did wrong…..?

  10. Joe, is the new wider cars and tyres idea ever going to become a reality in 2017? I’d really love to see wider cars, particularly after watching the Tag Heuer “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” video where the 1988 McLaren Honda MP4/4 and the current McLaren Honda are compared…the current car looks plain ugly…it’s narrower and the driver too seems to sit higher. In other words, it looks like a sledge when compared to that glorious MP4/4.

  11. JT was in Tunis Wednesday Thursday last week attending the FIA Region 1 ( Europe Middle East and Africa) Spring Meeting.
    Discussions included Car Connectivity, Mileage Fraud, Mobility and Think Bikes.
    Thursday night was a Gala Black Tie Dinner under the Patronage of Mrs Selma Elloumi Rekik , Minister of Tourism. JT turned up in a lounge suit!!

  12. Putting Todt aside for one second (which I know won’t be easy) isn’t there a greater indictment on the motor racing industry going on here?

    “akin to appointing the head of a tobacco company”

    Err the motor racing industry is probably indirectly responsible for all of the development to road car safety over the years. It’s also why we have sanctioned events on private tracks rather than on the street (or at least the true supporters of motorsport do).

    Without diving into it this looks like a wider attack on the motor racing industry in general by people who would happily ban cars if they could. I think you may be slightly compromised using it to attack Todt although I fully agree with your points.

    1. I’m fairly sure you can’t credit the motor racing industry with *all* of the development to road safety – radar-based automatic braking systems, for instance, have no place at all in motorsport.

      I agree with your point though, I’d consider it more like putting a Coca Cola executive in a WHO position – through various sports drink brands Coca Cola may have a lot of knowledge of nutrition and hydration, but is most visibly associated with the unhealthy aspects of its leading sugary brands.

  13. I can understand why Todt was in Monaco. Prince Albert put on a very posh gala at his casino and it would have been foolish to miss out on a freebie. Todt must have been enjoying himself as also gave an interview to ITV who were covering the race. I’ve not seen him do that at an F1 race for some time. It appears Todt is totally enthralled by his position and letting it go to his head.

    As it says on his Wiki entry “…Todt was rubbing shoulders with world-class rally stars…”

  14. Fair play Joe. You called this one from the start. I know you’d rather be wrong as you love this sport but do you reckon this will actually bother him, or more to the point have an effect? Or is ‘Organisation’ Todt oblivious to outside criticism do you reckon?

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