Jean Todt: 21-race season a ‘privilege’ for those in Formula 1

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BIRMINGHAM – FIA president Jean Todt sees no problem with the 21-race calendar planned for the 2016 Formula 1 season, believing it to be a “privilege” for those working in the sport.

With the return of Germany and the addition of the European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, the 2016 season is set to be the longest in the 66-year history of F1.

Concerns have been raised over the strain it will place on the paddock, given that with testing also accounted for most will be away from home for more than half of the year’s weekends.

However, Todt believes that those who lament the additional races are short-sighted and should instead be thankful to be in the position they are.

“If you do these jobs, if you consider all that is happening around the world, every morning you wake up, you should think about how lucky you are to be able to do 20 or 21 races, treating that as a privilege,” Todt said during the Watkins Lecture at Autosport International in Birmingham, England.

“I think they are privileged, and I think it’s a bad question to complain about having a privilege. That’s my personal feeling.”

Todt spent around an hour addressing an audience in Birmingham at the annual Watkins Lecture organized by the Motorsport Safety Fund, reflecting on his motorsport career and talking about the issues facing racing today.

During the lecture, Todt also responded to claims that he is not proactive enough as president by explaining his focus on actions rather than words.

“Sometime people complain that I do not communicate enough, that I don’t speak enough,” Todt said.

“I’m not interested in communicating. I’m more interested in actually a result, so I’m communicating to get a result.”