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.
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.
“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.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.