Formula One: It’s Time to Break Apart the FIA

Jean Todt has taken the role of President of the FIA to that of Activist.
Jean Todt has taken the role of President of the FIA to that of Activist.

It may be time for the FIA to relinquish it’s role in Formula One. Perhaps in auto racing period.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Fancy name, fancy people and elitist agendas so far removed from the everyday man that it has become a caricature of itself.

When you think of today’s modern Formula One series, do you think of it as the pinnacle of auto racing? Or do you think of it as the champion of socio/political issues? The latter would seem to be insanity to anyone who has followed the sport over the last 4 decades, but that, according to FIA President, Jean Todt, is Formula One’s duty.

What are the FIA’s official duties? In part, from their website:

“The FIA has been dedicated to representing the rights of motoring organisations and motor car users throughout the world via campaigns and activities that defend their interests. On issues such as safety, mobility, the environment and consumer law the FIA actively promotes the interests of motorists at the United Nations, within the European Union and through other international bodies. 

The FIA is also the governing body for motor sport worldwide. It administers the rules and regulations for all international four-wheel motor sport including the FIA Formula One World Championship, FIA World Rally Championship, FIA World Touring Car Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship.”

To me, these two statements of mission have finally become contradictory to one another. Why would a motorsport governing body have to take on the political responsibility of the environment and social issues?

What more needs to be said.
What more needs to be said.

Perhaps it’s evolved to a point where the organization is now a monopoly and should be broken apart into two separate governing bodies that do not rely upon one another or share the agenda’s set by the political motivations of the auto manufacturers or the United Nations.

Todt stated recently, regarding the complex power-plants now used in Formula One:

“I feel it is one of the few sensible decisions which has been taken over the last period,” he said about the new V6 engine rule. “Formula One is the pinnacle of motor sport, so we must be an example to society. It is not all happening in a kind of closed golden-gated community where nothing is happening on the other side of the world.”

On the bright side, Todt and actress Michelle Yeoh will finally marry this after  a 10 year relationship. "Hidden Tiger, Crouching Toad"
On the bright side, Todt and actress Michelle Yeoh will finally marry this after a 10 year relationship. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Toad”

Formula One as an example to society? Why should Formula One be forced to take on the responsibility of being a voice for social or environmental change? If that is what Formula One has become, then it is no longer the pinnacle of motorsports. It’s now a green technology political propaganda machine.

Here’s the real example that this directive has set: The largest and most wealthy manufacturers whose interests lie in government and United Nations pooled subsidies are the ones who will set the agenda for Formula One.

The cost for other teams to participate in Formula One has become so prohibitive, that it is a manufacturers series, nothing more.

But to further exacerbate the charade, McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis chimed in last year saying that F1 had to take a “more social responsibility-driven position”.

He stated: “The simple fact is we live in a world where hydrocarbons are depleting, the environment is being threatened. Yes, we have to be the pinnacle of motorsport, but that means we have to the absolute latest technology.”

Who is Ron Dennis trying to feed this nonsense? He had given up using the Mercedes power-plants and had engineered Honda to return to F1 as his factory engine supplier. His statement is self serving to his racing team and has absolutely nothing to do with hoping the world will become a more environmentally friendly place. He needed the Honda power-plants, it’s that simple.

Hydrocarbon powered cars have never in history been more clean, achieved more fuel efficiency and been more friendly to the environment than they are now, by a very, very large measure.

But, under the cloak of socio-environmental responsibility, Jean Todt seems to think that auto racing should reflect the interests of the auto manufacturers, who reflect the interests of political organizations such as the United Nations, who reflect the interests of governments. We all know how well that works.

That’s where the money is.

That’s where Formula One, in its current state, is.

What happened to the fastest cars for the very best drivers In the world?

For the moment, it’s dead and gone.


Unfiltered commentary, news articles, video and insights about virtually all aspects motorsports. Latest F1, NASCAR, Indycar, NHRA, MotoGP, and SportsCars news.