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Todt defends FIA reign after successor slams leadership

Todt defends FIA reign after successor slams leadership

Todt defends FIA reign after successor slams leadership

Todt defends FIA reign after successor slams leadership

Former FIA president Jean Todt has spoken out after Mohammed Ben Sulayem criticised his leadership.

Ben Sulayem succeeded Todt in 2021 and he revealed a year ago that upon taking office at the FIA, he was met with a $20 million cash deficit and an unexpected legal case involving a patent dispute over the Halo.

Initially, Todt said nothing about the allegations, but in a recent interview with L’Equipe, he finally broke his silence on the matter – and is far from happy about how his tenure has been perceived.

Jean Todt served as president of the FIA from 2009 until 2021
Mohammed Ben Sulayem criticised Todt's leadership after he took over in 2021

Todt hits out at Ben Sulayem

On the cash deficit, Todt referred to the Covid pandemic and how he made vigorous efforts to ensure the survival of the FIA and the sport itself, whilst also stating he left the economic situation stronger than what it was when he took over in 2009.

“When I left, there must have been more than 250 million Euros in reserves,” he said.

“When I arrived in 2009, there were barely 40m [Euro], although the FIA had just ceded the commercial rights to F1 for a hundred years a few years earlier.

“I don't call it a deficit. When I left, the budget had been multiplied by almost three, with many new competitions and sources of income, such as Formula E, the World Endurance Championship or the Rally Raid Championship.”

Todt did admit that the dispute surrounding the Halo, which was a crucial safety measure enforced under his tenure, was an open case when he left his role.

Todt is not impressed with how his legacy is being portrayed by his successor

“It is true that we left one dispute unfinished when I left, the Halo trial,” he explained.

“But it wasn't swept under the rug. It was well documented and monitored by our services; we presented it to the senate and the world council before I left, and the current president attended this presentation.

“This was a lawsuit brought in Texas by an engineer who owned a patent that was only valid in the United States and for a short time. So when I left, there was nothing secret. And only one ongoing case, that one.

"But I wasn't surprised, I knew who my successor was. I know the character.”

READ MORE: Former F1 team owner makes Ferrari 'LOSERS' claim ahead of 2024 season

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