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FIA accused of being too lenient by departing president with F1 teams' criticism

FIA accused of being too lenient by departing president with F1 teams' criticism

FIA accused of being too lenient by departing president with F1 teams' criticism

FIA accused of being too lenient by departing president with F1 teams' criticism

Jean Todt feels the FIA has been "too permissive" with its handling of criticism from the Formula 1 teams and drivers this season.

After 12 years in office as president, Todt delivered a final address at the FIA Gala prize-giving ceremony in Paris on Thursday night, effectively calling on motorsport's governing body to toughen up but also on the teams to improve their behaviour.

Throughout what has been a riveting but at times controversial campaign, the FIA - and race director Michael Masi, in particular - have come in for condemnation over the handling of incidents this year from drivers, teams, and the fans.

Reflecting on the season, Todt, who has been replaced as president by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, said: “Of course, we can always improve but then you need to behave as well.”

Todt then referenced a 10-match ban for Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of Lyon Football Club, for his criticism of a referee after a recent game.

Todt added: “I was reading in the French sport magazine L’Equipe, the president of the Lyon football club - which is one of the most important teams - has been banned for 10 games because he spoke badly about the referee.

“So maybe we [the FIA] are being too permissive.

“On one side, I feel it is important to have a dialogue between the governing body, the teams, the drivers, the commercial rights holders, but it [the criticism] should not be against us.”

Conceding that as an organisation the FIA is "not perfect", one of the final acts of his presidency this week was to propose to the World Motor Sport Council that a detailed analysis and clarification exercise of Sunday's events at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix now be conducted.

Todt felt the widespread chorus of disapproval of the handling of the closing laps of the race at the Yas Marina Circuit by Masi and the stewards had tarnished the image of the governing body and F1.

Reiterating his stance, he added: "It’s why I’ve suggested having a full review to see what needs to be improved in light of what happened, not only at this race but what has happened over the year.

"We need to be perfectionists, and in a way, Formula 1 is a result of perfection. A great driver is not enough, a great car is not enough. Everything has to be combined to be successful."

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