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.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).