F1 is great as it is – Jean Todt


Credit: GEPA pictures/Red Bull Content Pool

FIA President Jean Todt believes there is not much that needs changing in F1, it is fine as it is.

The Frenchman was speaking at the Sports Business Summit in Dusseldorf this week, and commented on how he does not feel that a huge overhaul is required to get the sport back into shape, as it is not currently broken.

Speaking of the domination enjoyed by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team over the last three seasons, which many pinpoint as a reason for the declining interest in F1, Todt pointed out that this sort of thing has been happening in the sport for many decades.

The Frenchman suggested that it is up to the other F1 teams to work on improving their performance, if they are to combat the German squad’s stronghold at the top, and that knee jerk radical changes should not be necessary.

“I think, for me, Formula One is great. The championship we enjoyed last year was a fight until the last corner. I think it would be the wrong message [to suggest F1 needs to be made much better].

“We need to have a sport which is unpredictable.

“Maybe sometimes people complain that the domination of Mercedes over the last years maybe creates some disinterest, but it is part of the history of Formula One.

“You have at the moment the domination of Mercedes, before that it was Red Bull, before that it was Ferrari, before that it was McLaren, Williams, Lotus — it’s part of the history. It happens in other sports too: look at athletics, look at soccer — you have domination.

“If you want to stop the domination you need to be better. We need to congratulate Mercedes and hope that the others will be able to do something even better.”

Speaking of the new regulations introduced this season, which are hoped to bring about a more level playing field in 2017, Todt is interested to see how they pan out, but does not think we will really know their full impact until the first few races of the season.

“There are new regulations this year and the idea is to have cars with more downforce, to have cars wider, quicker. I don’t know what that will mean on track, but in my opinion we need to wait not for testing, which will start at the end of the month, but for the first race at the end of March in Melbourne.

“There is a lot of expectation and I’m sure that Liberty Media will allow different access through different means of communication, which could probably encourage new fans to get into Formula One.

The Frenchman also emphasised that he and the FIA will be working closely with new owners Liberty Media to ensure the sport takes the right path going forward.

“Of course, we [the FIA] will sit as a regulator and legislator of Formula One, with the new people and with the teams to see what should be the vision for the future to make the sport better.”