Todt suggests FIA too lenient when F1 teams criticise race officials

Jean Todt has suggested the FIA has “maybe been a bit permissive” with the way it has allowed Formula 1 teams and bosses to communicate and criticise race officials.
Jean Todt (FRA) FIA President.
Jean Todt (FRA) FIA President.

The 2021 F1 season ended in intense criticism of FIA race director Michael Masi after the title-deciding Abu Dhabi ended in controversy. 

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been critical of Masi’s handling of the finale, while Red Bull’s Christian Horner said that the sport ‘missed Charlie Whiting’ after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Another issue has been the teams’ communication with Masi during the races, with Horner and Wolff pestering the race director throughout the grand prix at the Yas Marina Circuit. 

Speaking at the FIA’s prize-giving gala in Paris, Todt referenced the example of Lyon football president Jean-Michel Aulas, who received a 10-game ban for comments made to the referee following a recent game.

“We need to behave as well,” Todt said. “I was reading today in L’Equipe, the president of Lyon Football Club, which is one of the most important teams, he has been forbidden for 10 games because he spoke badly about the referee, so maybe we are being a bit permissive [in Formula 1].

“On one side I feel it is important to have the dialogue between the governing body, between the team, between the drivers, between the commercial rights’ holder, but it should not go against us.

“I will still watch the grand prix, and in a way it is human behaviour, you see Max [Verstappen] after the first corner when Lewis [Hamilton] overtook him on the right side, and he said ‘hmm, I am persecuted!’ I mean. He is not. Nobody is, but it is perception.

“And so in the heat of the action, I mean, you have your own feeling. On the other side you have the Race Director, you have the stewards, you have a lot of organisation and are we perfect? We are not perfect.

“Incidentally that’s why I have suggested to have a full review, to see what needs to be improved in light of what has happened, not only at this race [in Abu Dhabi], but what has happened over the year.”

Read More