Todt re-elected as FIA President, plans “ambitious” second term

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Jean Todt has won re-election as FIA President to a second four-year term, with the path made slightly easier by the fact he ran unopposed. David Ward, who announced his candidacy in August, withdrew in November.

Over the next four years, Todt called his outline “ambitious,” but “built on the solid foundations of reforms” from the past four years.

His first pillar to attack, he said, was to improve the governance and administration of the FIA. To do so, a Resource Allocation Working Group will be created and composed of worldwide representatives.

“It will be their task to determine how best to use the new resources arising from new activities and including the renegotiation of the [Formula One] Concorde Agreement,” he said.

Next up is motorsport development, with a grassroots strategy as outlined from World Motor Sport Council meetings and from two separate task forces, the Motor Sport Development Task Force and the ASN Development Task Force.

The third and fourth pillars are FIA Mobility, aimed at improving club growth, and road safety and sustainability, as the FIA continues to be an advocate for that.

“Our common goal, our common ambition, is for the FIA and its global network to become ever stronger, more united and more respected around the world,” Todt said to close his remarks.“We understand and appreciate the responsibilities you have given us. In the four years to come, we will be committed to work on these goals, to serve the FIA, to defend your interests, and to promote our sport and mobility for the motorist. Together, we are going to go further and bring the FIA to a higher level.”

Besides overseeing F1 during his first four years, Todt was also instrumental in the launch and creation of the FIA’s new-for-2012 World Endurance Championship. While sports car racing has, in recent years, become almost more of a technological haven than F1 has, it still hasn’t grown to anywhere near the level of popularity or interest as F1.

It will be intriguing to watch how much attention Todt pays to the other FIA World Championships besides F1, including WEC, World Rally Championship and the World Touring Car Championship, over the stint of his second term.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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