Well…Jean Todt’s your man until 2021. The FIA has formally re-elected the Frnechman for his third and final term and he said:
“It is gratifying to have such universal support.
“I would like to thank all of the member clubs of the FIA for their support.
“I see this as a validation of the direction the FIA has taken under my leadership, and as encouragement to continue the program we have pursued over the past eight years.”
The support may certainly have been there but Jean ran unopposed so I am not sure what that support may have looked like if someone would have run for President other than Jean. I’m also curious to see who begins to be groomed for the role in three years.
The FIA says Todt will focus on “innovation, advocacy and the development of a strong network of mobility and sport clubs”.
“Innovation is essential if the FIA is to continue to improve and take its rightful place in the world as the leader in mobility and motorsport development.
“To encourage this, we propose to establish an FIA Innovation Fund. “Our clubs are the largest consumer organizations in their country and their 80 million road-user members make the FIA one of the largest global consumer bodies.”
It’s been interesting to see which platforms Jean has championed over his three terms and this one seems to have even more fine print centered on “mobility”.
“This is important because while the future of mobility is exciting, it also holds many challenges, and it is our duty to help shape it,” he said.
“We will have to deal with increased congestion in all our major cities, with the introduction of autonomous vehicles, the growing cost of mobility and with the development of new technologies in developed countries.
“We need to influence the direction these developments take in order to ensure acceptable outcomes for all.
“My ambition remains for our Federation to continue to strive to be the best it possibly can – stronger, smarter, more secure, more professional and globally respected.”
If I juxtapose the two tenures of Todt and his predecessor, Max Mosley, I would say that Todt has taken the FIA into a much more political realm of trying to embed the organization into the manufacturer and ideological realm than Max did. Max was more litigious for sure and more outspoken but Jean is understated but driven by ideology and the desire to anticipate the cultural wave of the road car and mobility globally.
That’s all a noble charter for sure but I sometimes wonder if the regulatory oversight of motorsport is something that can co-mingle with mobility ideology and trends or if it has a unique enough role to be slightly separate from road car innovation funds, mobility initiatives focused on congestion, electric and other public needs.
In some way, with manufacturers involved in the sport, it would be hard to separate the two but on the other hand, I feel like the FIA’s ideology has been a bit heavy handed using the sport it regulates as a lab for driving its agenda instead of allowing it to simply be an entertaining sport. Perhaps that’s more to do with pressure the FIA gets from the manufacturers involved than it is the FIA itself.
Hat Tip: Autosport