A night out in Paris…

It’s Christmas time, so Bandaid informs me, and Andy Williams says it’s the most wonderful time of the year. The boys of the NYPD choir are singing “Galway Bay”, merry gentlemen are resting and tiny tots, with their eyes all aglow, are awaiting jingling bells in an otherwise silent night.

Santa will soon be lapping the world at speeds that Lewis Hamilton cannot even imagine as the old fella has a lot to do – and they’ll be more toys coming out of his “pram” than Sebastian Vettel managed in Baku this summer.

It’s also the time of year when the FIA gathers – this year in Paris – for its annual General Assembly and a bunch of other meetings. Later today we will get to find out the composition of the new World Motorsport Council and various other roles. Todt has been re-elected for a final four-year term as FIA President, but will have a slightly different team around him. The President of the FIA Senate, Nick Craw, is over the age limit for top FIA officials and is standing down and will be replaced by New Zealander Brian Gibbons, previously the Deputy President of Mobility. He will be replaced by Belgium’s Thierry Willemarck, while Britain’s Graham Stoker continues as Deputy President for Sport, a post he has held since 2009. Todt confirmed that Felipe Massa is to become the head of the CIK-FIA, the karting federation. He will be replacing Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, who has been in charge of karting for the last seven years.

It is not yet clear what Shaikh Abdulla will do now, but there is talk of a position as some sort of Special Envoy. At the same time, there are whispers that Todt is finally going to appoint a special delegate to represent the FIA in Formula 1 dealings. Perhaps it could be that Shaikh Abdulla will be that person. He’s well known in F1 circles and has done great work in karting, in league with Dutchman Kees Van der Grint, the CIK Vice President.

Tonight the FIA will gather for its prize giving gala at the Chateau de Versailles…

23 thoughts on “A night out in Paris…

  1. Dear Joe. The first two paragraphs are A real poetry! Have You tried your pen in that field yet? I guess You’d be the greatest in writing the novels, kids books and love letters as long as it has something to do with F1!

  2. Joe, I am reasonably confident that I am not alone in having absolutely no idea what these blazered officials actually do to earn their eye watering salaries and globe trotting 1st class travel and accommodation.

    I would be interested to hear a synopsis of the structure, hierarchy and purpose of each of the key roles within this organisation which has enormous influence on motor sport but appears to answer to no-one for their actions.

    Apart maybe from deciding the colours of the figures on the lights at pedestrian crossings.

      1. That’s what I thought/was going to ask. Besides administrative employees, I wouldn’t think any would get salaries. However, there is money and influence to be had from their positions and the people they meet while working for the FIA.

    1. No idea what remuneration is given but it’s mealy mouthed to patronise people on principle.
      Todt has a very worthy history, firstly at Peugeot and then Ferrari. I cannot speak for the others but I believe I am correct in saying all are elected.
      The FIA has a much larger remit than just F1, they are a world body for motor vehicles and therefore must have a presence. On this score you should also understand why they pursue matters that might seem of little import to motor sport. You might also criticise their office in Place de la Concorde and an annual bash at Versailles but these are small beer.
      I do not believe them to be overly top heavy nor corrupt.

          1. And put unimaginable sums of money in his pocket for so doing. Never was a fan, thought he came by his ill gotten gains in questionable circumstances and that much of what happened would have taken place anyway. It was only 1968 when any sort of advertising was permitted on cars and then only about 60 sq.in. When Richard Scott got sponsorship from Durex he was promptly banned.
            The FIA should have put yer man on a handsome commission but should never have sold the family silver.

    1. It was extraordinary. And scraping snow off a car at 01.00 – in a dinner suit – is a new experience for me.

      1. Running down from central Paris on a wet Friday night in ten coaches in a police escorted convoy was quite regal , as for youngster, well Joe must be close to his pension and I’m seven years into mine.

          1. Which is why the Bradford/Phillips/Ken Church St/Windsor Castle/Simon T days didn’t hit the spot for you as they did for me.

        1. and you’ve never had to scrape ice from your windscreen in the middle of the night ? I’m 20 years older than Joe, led a pretty normal life and certainly had to scrape ice in various states of dress even DJs. One time going westwards on the M4 in Berkshire to get home the snow was so heavy it broke the wipers ! and then there is freezing fog !

  3. Have you heard what ‘adjustments’ are being made to restarts after Safety Car periods? I believe LM asked a dullards forum if they would like to see cars lined up in 2 rows, like Nascar, when races are restarted. That would be a disaster waiting to happen.

  4. Bit of a rant, but….

    Can Massa sort out karting? Have you got his FIA email address book Joe?

    Kids start karting, and between the CIK (and in the UK the MSA) they contrive to have numerous classes with a multitude of different engine makes, and expensive short lived tyres.

    In the UK you can start at 6 years old, and that’s quite simple there’s only one class.

    But, from 8 to 13 there are two, and from 11 to 17 there are six classes to enter.

    Seniors there are 8 different classes to choose from.

    So grids get diluted with drivers entering many classes. So instead of say a grid of 20 drivers in one class you get say 5 in each class, and they all run separately, so meetings take too long, and the drivers get to race only 4 others.

    So Felippe, my xmas list for karting are these classes.

    1) Bambino 6 to 8 years old.

    2) Cadet 8 to 11 years old.

    3) Junior 12 to 16 years old.

    4) Senior direct drive over 16s.

    5) Gearbox over 16s.

    With exception of the gearbox class all classes have one mandatory engine type, homologated for 5 years and tendered two years in advance.

    Chassis have a maximum price set, and restrictions on soft chassis tubing put in place.

    All the tyres come from the same manufacturer for all classes, but are different constructions and compounds to suit the class. They should be designed to last 6 meetings up to senior level. The seniors should have tyres that last for two meetings. By having one tyre manufacturer (tendered every one or two years) then costs could be forced down by volume.

    It’s a dream, as there are too many vested commercial interests, but the FIA/CIK could make a start and stop introducing new classes for the next 5 years, and allow some existing classes to die naturally.

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