Todt: F1 revolution averted but key challenges remain

The future of the FIA will see the Federation focus on governance and improving existing championships, its president Jean Todt says.

Todt: F1 revolution averted but key challenges remain
FIA president Jean Todt
Automobile Club d’Italia President Angelo Sticchi Damiani and FIA president Jean Todt
FIA president Jean Todt and other dignitaries launch the FIA Sports Conference
FIA president Jean Todt
FIA Action for Road Safety photoshoot: FIA President Jean Todt, ACO President Pierre Fillon, actor Brad Pitt with drivers
Jean Todt, FIA President
Jean Todt, FIA President
FIA Action for Road Safety photoshoot: FIA President Jean Todt, ACO President Pierre Fillon, actor Brad Pitt with drivers
Drivers group photo with Alejandro Agag, Formula E CEO and Jean Todt, FIA President
Jean Todt, FIA President

While Todt has yet to decide whether or not he will stand for a third term as FIA president, the Frenchman is well aware of the future challenges for the sporting arm of the Federation.

Speaking to a select group of media in a private session at the FIA Sport Conference Week in Turin, Todt pointed to governance as the next big issue in sport when asked what would be top of the agenda for the next FIA presidential term.

“Clearly it will be the renegotiation of the Concorde Agreement, with the strong issue of the governance,” he said.

“On Formula 1 governance, on regulation, I would say that things are quite clear. [We have the] 2017 new regulations, [and with the] engine situation I don’t see any kind of revolution arriving since it’s quite stabilised.

“I must say the agreement which was dealt with recently at least we don’t hear any more about alternative engine, about all those things. Those things are stable, which is important, and I think it is what I mentioned earlier.”

Improving what we have

For Todt, the next step in motorsport is to improve what is already there.

“As for new championships, we have had three: Formula E, WEC and Rallycross. Now it is important in each championship to try and optimise it, starting from Formula 1.

"Each championship has to be addressed. It’s a part of life, whatever you do you must never take things for granted. The motivation is always whatever you do is to be ambitious and to try to do better. We must highlight each single activity and our responsibility and try to see how we do it better.

“If you take each championship from one to 10, none is at 10,” he said. “Some may be at five, some at eight, so [the goal is] to get each of them from where we are to 10.

"We mentioned the new Formula E championship, [we must] bring it level and better. I think we have enough championships, we have enough high-level categories of racing.

“Probably we still need to make [access to motor] sport more affordable for people in the regions, in the countries. When I met President Aliyev on Sunday I said to him that they should have a permanent circuit.

"[Baku] is a street track, I’m not blaming that - I think it’s great. But I wish they would have a permanent circuit where they could do some national racing, where there could be some national education for driving better.

“I think in all those countries, for me a circuit is not only for speed - it can be a good opportunity to speed rather than speed on the road - but it is also one open space to learn how to drive better. Rather than circuit I would call it stadium, a stadium for driving and on that I think there’s a lot we can do with our communities.”

Sport has to be "politically correct"

And the biggest challenge facing motorsport over the next two decades?

“To have it sustainable,” Todt asserted. “It can never be excluded that there will people who will be saying that it is damaging society.

"That’s why you have to be very careful on safety and public opinion is very important. Pollution and environmental, it has to be politically correct.

"We have a responsibility of doing that. It is not only about passion. Passion is for a limited amount of people, but they are not the majority.”

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