Todt versus Bernie knives being sharpened FIA president Jean Todt has outlined he will look to renegotiate the commercial agreement motorsport’s governing body has with Formula One – a deal that was brokered by his predecessor, Max Mosley – which is likely to further irk and irritate F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Former Ferrari CEO Todt succeeded Mosley at the helm of the FIA in October 2009 and is seeking to make changes to an agreement signed back in 2001. Under Mosley’s stewardship the FIA had approved a 100-year deal with Bernie Ecclestone’s SLEC Holdings concerning the broadcasting and commercial rights to F1.
However, Todt has now stated that the current contract does not reflect F1′s place in today’s world. His words come as Formula One’s key stakeholders prepare to enter negotiations to draw up a new Concorde Agreement, with the commercial contract that governs the sport set to expire at the end of 2012.
“I will make sure that everybody realizes that since the (100-year) agreement has been signed and now times have changed, technology has changed,” Todt told The Financial Times. “Fifteen 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.”
Meanwhile, Todt has refused to be drawn into a war of words with Ecclestone. The F1 supremo recently labeled the Frenchman as a “poor man’s Max”, in reference to his predecessor, while he also reportedly described the FIA as a “joke”. However Todt stated: “It is important not to overreact. 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.”
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