The 2021 season ended in a burst, as FIA has been criticized a lot for their decisions, both in the time taken to resolve controversies and in the results of their analysis.
At the moment, on the internet many people are giving credit to Mercedes, who refused to take part in the celebrative gala for Max Verstappen, claiming that Lewis Hamilton’s title has been “robbed”. The controversies are part of this sport but we assisted to a lack of authority by the FIA. The teams were arguing one against the other through Michael Masi, there were negotiations on the decisions he has to make. Jean-Todt, before leaving his place as FIA President, makes clear that dialogue is needed and desirable but it does not need to be overused, as the risk is they the teams take over the impartial decision of the FIA.
“Of course, we can always improve, - Todt said - But then, you need to behave as well.”
“I was reading today in the French sport magazine L’Equipe, the president of the Lyon football club – which is one of the most important teams – he has been forbidden for 10 games because he’s spoke badly about the referee,” he explains. Todt is indeed referring to the 10-match ban given by the organization to the president of Lyon for talking badly to a referee. “So maybe we are being too permissive, you know? On one side, I feel it is important to have a dialogue between the governing body, between the teams, between the drivers, between the commercial rights holders, but it should not go against us.”
He says that it is human to react instinctively to some decisions but it should not be taken further, as Mercedes did with its decision to stay away from the Gala as a protest. He also pointed out that he was sorry for Hamilton’s absence and he hoped the Briton could get more from this season. “You see, Max after the first corner when Lewis overtook him on the right side, he said ‘I’m [being] persecuted’. I mean, believe it or not, nobody is [being persecuted], but it’s the perception. So in the heat of the action, you have your own feelings.”
“On the other side, - he continues - you have the race director; you have the stewards who have a lot of organisation. Are we perfect? We are not perfect. And incidentally, that’s why I’ve suggested to have a full review to see what needs to be improved in light of what has happened. But not only at this race, but what has happened over the year.”
Was Mercedes the biggest absence of the Gala? Todt does not think so, as he says that he missed Michael Schumacher there. “I mean to be very sincere, I miss Michael tonight with us, - he states -Because he is part of my life, he will always be, and we have been building so many things together because we have been suffering together and that made us stronger.”
He remembers how happy he was when he was elected to FIA president and Schumacher was with his family. “12 years back – tomorrow we will have elections – each candidate was invited to have six people with him to support the election. I remember 12 years back I had three people with me: My wife, Michael and my son. And that’s something I will never forget.”