Jean Todt, the Frenchman who has led championship-winning teams in WRC, Paris-Dakar, Le Mans, and Formula 1, has been elected to head the FIA. He succeeds the long-serving and highly controversial Max Mosley, who agreed to step down earlier this year as part of the agreement to prevent a rival manufacturer-led championship series. Todt won the vote by 149-35, defeating Ari Vatanen -- the same Vatanen who won those four consecutive Paris-Dakar races for Todt's Peugeot team.
Those who bemoan modern Formula One settling its rivalries in the courtroom instead of on the race track have another set of examples to bring up at the pub as news emerges of the settlement of two lawsuits related to the top-tier racing series have emerged over the course of the weekend.
No one could have predicted what has happened so far in the Formula 1 this year. Brawn GP, a team that didn't even exist a few weeks before the season started, dominated the first half of the season, Jenson Button, who scored just three points in 2008, has won six of the first seven races, and the Formula One Teams Association threatened to leave and start their own series. Oh, did we mention Michael Schumacher is coming back to the series?
The heat is on as former Ferrari chief executive Jean Todt has reportedly confirmed his candidacy for FIA president. The Frenchman has been touted as a potential head of the international motorsport governing body and automobile federation for years, with rumors intensifying following his resignation from the top spot at Ferrari over a year ago. However, reports now indicate that the renowned racing strategist will stand for the office to replace the departing Max Mosley.
Could the end finally be at hand for the Max Mosley/Formula One soap opera? The embattled FIA president has apparently backed away from potential threats to seek a sixth term in office after all, instead deciding to endorse Jean Todt, team principal for Ferrari's F1 team. The announcement came as part of a letter sent Wednesday to all FIA member clubs.
Bernie Ecclestone didn't get to be a billionaire by waiting for things to come his way. With the threat of a breakaway series seemingly very real once again, the man credited with making Formula 1 what it today is has apparently decided to make sure he is on it. F1 Live reports that last month, Ecclestone filed trademark application papers for Formula Grand Prix, Formula GP, and GP3, in addition to applying to protect his GP1 and GP1 Series logos.
After attempting to clarify and apologize for his recent and controversial professed admiration for Adolf Hitler's ability to "get things done," F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has reportedly added fuel to the fire by blaming "the Jews" for failing to address the worldwide banking crisis.
With Max Mosley due to end his tenure as president of the FIA in October, the recent rift between the current Formula One championship and the Formula One Teams Association has apparently been healed. Now the big question on everyone's minds in the motorsport world is: Who will replace Mosley?
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Formula One waters, Max Mosley goes and sends a nasty-gram to Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) chairman and Ferrari head honcho Luca di Montezemolo threatening to back out of his promise to step down from his throne as leader of the FIA if he doesn't get a full apology ASAP.
Take a poll anywhere outside of Max Mosley's or Bernie Ecclestone's motor homes and you'll probably find a preponderance of F1 fans rooting for the Formula One Teams Association. When the FOTA announced a breakaway series for 2010, it took just about 12 hours for the FIA to uncork its laywers. Just two days later, says F1 Live, at the British Grand Prix, Mosley himself said "There won't be any writ. I think we would rather talk than litigate," so everyone could "sit down and iron out the last fe
Barely a half a day has passed since the FOTA announced it start a breakaway championship, and as predicted, the FIA has announced it's suing the rebel teams. The FIA's sternest words were aimed at Ferrari, saying "The actions of FOTA as a whole, and Ferrari in particular, amount to serious violations of law including willful interference with contractual relations, direct breaches of Ferrari's legal obligations and a grave violation of competition law."
It's official: F1 is broken. At least, with the FOTA's announcement it will create a rival championship, it appears that F1 as we have known it is all but broken. Max Mosley and the FIA have gone back and forth with the FOTA for months, with neither side able to agree on a compromise and both sides claiming the other party is being intransigent.
There has been no shortage of recent complaints over Max Mosley's leadership of the FIA. Last year, it looked like he'd be forced out of his position at the head of the motorsport governing body, while this year he's been at the source of controversy over new regulations that could yet see the majority of the teams in Formula One walk out. But few are as appalled by Mosley's leadership as Jody Scheckter.
Yesterday, we brought you news that Toyota could quit Formula One if FIA president Max Mosley's proposal for a two-tiered budget system is put in place. But the Japanese team based in Germany – currently enjoying its best season so far – isn't the only one making noise. Ferrari has hinted it could jump ship and put its energy into Le Mans, instead. Mercedes-Benz has said it could cancel its F1 program, and BMW has reportedly done the same. Now, three more teams are joining the call f
After the FIA's rule change to allow a two-tier budgetary and technical regulation system in F1 next year, Toyota is the first team to come out and say it might not contest the 2010 season. After publishing next year's regulations, the FIA made May 29 the final day for teams to declare their intention to race next year and pay the entry fee. Toyota F1 team president John Howett, who is also vice-president of the F1 Teams Alliance (FOTA), said that unless a new situation is agreed to he can't see
It is unclear whether reality show impresario Mark Burnett is actually the one running Formula 1, but the political goings-on of the series continue to overshadow what happens on the track. The FIA recently published the 2010 regulations with some novel inclusions: a winner-take-all system for determining the Championship (yes, again), a higher weight for cars to promote KERS usage, and a budget cap system that would let teams spending no more than £40 million have more technical freedom v
As if there could be any more drama before the 2009 F1 season begins, the recently (and hastily) implemented change to the points system has now been thrown out. This year's "winner take all" format was a variation on the gold medal system Bernie Ecclestone proposed last year that was likewise rejected by the teams.
Former Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart believes that no one in the sport's paddock will dare to speak out against Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, so he's tasked himself with the honor. Suggesting that F1 is essentially run by a cabal consisting of two men, Stewart says that Max and Bernie are too close and have too much power. This has kept the people inside the sport from speaking out about it and the situation has made the current revenue sharing plan "untenable" - all of which fig