26 October 2010
Ecclestone praises Todt for first year
Bernie Ecclestone has thanked FIA president Jean Todt for leaving F1 alone during his first year in office.
Just over a year into his first - and maybe only - tenure as FIA president, Jean Todt has been praised by Bernie Ecclestone for not meddling with F1, although some of his deputies have not been so well received.
Unlike predecessor Max Mosley, Todt has steered his attentions elsewhere and, despite the odd comment on the sport and where he'd like it to go in future, has been content to let it find its own way through 2010. Instead, the diminutive Frenchman has focused on rallying, road safety and visiting some of the affiliated national motoring associations.
"What's good about him is that he's left us alone, F1-wise," Ecclestone told Reuters after accompanying Todt on a tour of the paddock in Korea at the weekend, "He's got on with the other things that needed looking after. It's good for us - and good for him I think."
The former Ferrari boss has not found universal favour, however, and, ironically, Mosley - who backed his application for the presidency - has been among those apparently unhappy with his first year. According to reports, the direction in which Todt is steering the governing body has led to Mosley seeking to use his allies still in office to oppose the Frenchman's power - although Todt himself plays down the suggestions of an uprising.
"What bothers me sometimes is any kind of rumour by anybody is taken by a very small website and then everybody is taking that into consideration," he told news agency reporters, "I respect Max, but I am different. I am my own man, with my own team, and I don't say I do everything well, but at least I do things the way I feel they should be done with people around me.
"I am not a specialist, I am a generalist. I always said to Max that he was more than welcome to give me some advice, which I must say he did very seldom. Even if we speak and meet quite regularly, I think he is very busy with his own business."
Ecclestone, meanwhile, was critical of one of Todt's team, after FIA Senate president Nick Craw appeared to offer a change the statute insisting that all new circuits had to be inspected and approved at least 90 days before the first race. At present, that deadline is at the discretion of the governing body and, if strictly enforced, would have resulted in the cancellation of last weekend's Korean GP.
"When Nick Craw runs the races, he can do what he likes," Ecclestone said, "Up to then he's just a member of the FIA. The trouble is that people don't know what they are doing and what they are talking about half the time. They don't put any races on, we are the ones that put the races all on. We'd still be in Zandvoort, otherwise."
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