Vatanen speaks…since Todt isn’t

Since Jean Todt’s FIA has very little to say about the recent Bridgestone and Toyota announcements, other than the obligatory “we’re concerned and might sue” statement sprinkled with a dash of “see? Mosley was right about cost-caps” nonsense, it seems we have to look to the person who should have been elected FIA president, upon Max Mosley’s retirement, for actual presidential leadership .


Ari Vatanen has spoken out about the recent shock news in F1, which I am just waiting for someone to coin “manufacturer-gate” or “Maker-gate”, following Bridgestone and Toyota’s announcement of their departure from the series. Renault is understood to be seriously considering exiting the sport as well in an extraordinary meeting of the board of directors yesterday.

If I am honest, I was expecting much more from Jean Todt than the weak and heavy-handed press release the public received yesterday concerning the news. In fact, it was downright depressing to be honest. The tone, content and hind-pokery was just sophomoric and smelt of week-old Mosley wordsmithing.

A clear indicator that what the FIA member clubs voted for was indeed a regime and it is made manifest by the notion that the first crisis, since taking the helm, for Jean Todt is met with the most pedestrian of Mosley-esque moves. The clear design that commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone is still at the helm and that the FIA is a shill for his needs and desire to reduce the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) to a shambling heap of gelatinous goo.

FOTA is now reduced to three manufacturers and Ferrari issued one of its strongest statements yesterday concerning Toyota’s exit equating it to a murder mystery. The new teams, as I stated before, are like the remote African FIA motoring clubs who will vote any way you need them to as the promised checks are enough of incentive to cast integrity headlong into the wood-chipper.

So is Ferrari right? Is it economics or something else akin to an Agatha Christie novel? Vatanen thinks it’s the latter:

“If you analyze it Renault is right, they are a serious international corporation and not loonies like Max Mosley [former FIA president] has called them, they are just very disillusioned with the governance of Formula One,” he said.

“[Renault] would stay in the FIA championship if the sport was known for positive news and if it was a good avenue for marketing and promotion — but Formula One is only known for conflict, crisis and court cases recently, and big companies cannot afford that,” Vatanen added.

“We must realize the economic realities is nothing to do with the crisis. Big companies always look to market and promote, even when times are tough, but only if it is in a sensible way.

“I do hope [Renault do not leave], but if they do it is the final alarm call that we cannot continue with business as usual. I’m sad to say the old guard are still in power in the FIA but teams are starting to vote with their feet,” Vatanen added.

Like Ferrari, Vatanen sees the Molsey regime still in power and actively diluting the FOTA position. FOTA won victory last summer and both Ecclestone and Mosley knew all too well how dangerous the combined efforts of manufacturers could be but they sallied forth to destroy FOTA and have done a yeoman’s job of it by successfully replacing Mosley (forced out by FOTA) with a hand-picked successor who would follow the beat of the Ecclestone drum in lockstep with the Mosely regime.

The Mosley regime is an insidious machination working within the guise of the FIA and Ecclestone himself is the largest part of their leadership. FOTA failed in successfully starting a breakaway racing series last summer and at some level were duped by Ecclestone/Mosley into re-signing the Concorde Agreement.

Now they have Todt carrying water for the sycophants and perhaps the future looks bleak for the world’s largest car makers. Perhaps in time we will see the real reason for leaving F1 but until then, Toyota, Bridgestone and possibly Renault are content with blaming the economy.

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