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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Todt hits again at Ben Sulayem’s criticisms of his FIA management

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Ben Sulayem took over from Todt on the finish of 2021, and has identified a number of occasions that one of many greatest complications he has needed to take care of was a deficit that he inherited within the FIA’s finances.

Speaking about the issue for the first time last year, Ben Sulayem mentioned: “There was a monetary concern that we didn’t learn about. We had a deficit, even earlier than the pandemic, however I’m happy to have cleared that.”

Ben Sulayem advised that the figures being talked about had been “over $20m,” as he additionally mentioned his early days as president had been dominated by an sudden courtroom case involving a patent dispute relating to the Halo.

Up till now Todt has stored quiet in regards to the matter, however in a prolonged interview revealed in L’Equipe, he has now responded to what has been mentioned – and is much from impressed about how issues have been portrayed.

Todt mentioned that the deficit the FIA confronted in 2021 was a consequence of the Covid disaster, the place he had needed to work onerous to endure the survival of each the governing physique and F1.

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And he’s clear that the general funds of the FIA had been in a far stronger place on the finish of his presidency than the start – as he cited examples like choices on FE possession and actual property earnings as additional Positive components.

“After I left, there should have been greater than 250 million Euros in reserves,” Todt advised L’Equipe when requested if he was stunned by Ben Sulayem’s feedback.

“After I arrived in 2009, there have been barely 40m [Euro], though the FIA had simply ceded the business rights to F1 for 100 years a couple of years earlier.

“I do not name it a deficit. After I left, the finances had been multiplied by virtually three, with many new competitions and sources of earnings, reminiscent of System E, the World Endurance Championship or the Rally Raid Championship.”

Photograph by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

Mohammed ben Sulayem, FIA President talks with Pink Bull Racing Workforce Principal Christian Horner and Max Verstappen of Pink Bull Racing

He added: “It’s true that we left one dispute unfinished once I left, the Halo trial. However it wasn’t swept below the rug. It was properly documented and monitored by our providers; we introduced it to the senate and the world council earlier than I left, and the present president attended this presentation.

“This was a lawsuit introduced in Texas by an engineer who owned a patent that was solely legitimate in the USA and for a short while. So once I left, there was nothing secret. And just one ongoing case, that one.

“However I wasn’t stunned, I knew who my successor was. I do know the character.”

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Requested if he was aggravated that Ben Sulayem has been talking out towards his administration, Todt mentioned: “No, it does not matter to me. After which it is smoke.

“I begin from the precept that when one chapter closes, one other opens and we don’t enable ourselves to assault its predecessor. Whether or not leaving Peugeot, Ferrari or the FIA, I by no means mentioned a foul phrase. There isn’t a level in launching into allegations, particularly when they’re false.

“The truth is what I simply advised you. And I’ll add one thing relating to the revenues of the FIA: it was below my presidency that the Hundred Yr Settlement and Concorde Agreements between the FIA and F1 had been renegotiated earlier than Liberty Media turned the proprietor of the FOM (System One Administration)

“With out going into element, I can let you know that the earnings obtained by the Federation has very clearly elevated in comparison with earlier than. And its place within the governance of F1 has additionally been restored. It now has a 3rd of the votes, together with FOM and the groups. It is evening and day with earlier agreements.

“You possibly can’t cease somebody from criticising or disagreeing. However every little thing I’ve finished throughout my presidency has all the time been accepted by the senate and the world councils.”

Todt feels that the present FIA regime has launched into a completely completely different route below Ben Sulayem, who has confronted criticism from a number of events in F1 over the best way he has handled points.

“The whole lot that was put in place throughout my mandate was turned the wrong way up,” he continued.

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