Jean Todt has refused to be drawn into a war of words with Bernie Ecclestone after the commercial rights holder hit out of the FIA president on the eve of the new F1 season.
Ecclestone referred to Todt as a 'poor man's Max [Mosley]' in an interview prior to the Australian Grand Prix
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] but Todt has refused to be drawn into a public argument and said he preferred to focus on 'harmony rather than confrontation'.
“It is important not to overreact,” he told the Financial Times
. “I feel with confrontation, unless it is necessary to achieve a result, you lose time. I prefer to achieve results with harmony rather than confrontation.”
Todt's comments came in an interview in which he discussed the current deal in place between the FIA and Ecclestone when it comes to F1's commercial rights, with the former Ferrari
team boss saying it was time to re-evaluate the terms agreed by Max Mosley in 2001.
That deal should run for 100 years, but Todt is keen to discuss the matter when the current Concorde Agreement comes to an end.
“Now it is my responsibility to make the best out of it and to secure the best future for F1,” he said. “And you know that it is a commercial agreement, called the Concorde Agreement, which is on much shorter periods and the term of the current one is end of 2012. So together with the commercial rights holder and the teams we will have to discuss the next Concorde Agreement.
“I will make sure that everybody realises that since the (100 year) agreement has been signed and now times have changed, technology has changed. 15 years ago you didn't have all the sophisticated electronics you can enjoy today when you watch the TV. All that has a cost. Definitely we need to take that in consideration because I must make sure that the funding for the FIA is correct. Our costs are greater than they were 10 years ago. Evolution has a price.
“For me what matters are the best interests of the FIA and these, if they are protected, are the best interests of everybody. Because you cannot have the FIA F1 world championship without the strong commitment of the FIA. And that's the best guarantee for the teams and for CVC.”