Jean Todt  France

  • Full name Jean Todt
  • Birth date February 25, 1946
  • Birthplace Pierrefort, France
  • Current age 72 years 141 days
  • Teams Ferrari
  • Other roles Administrator, Principal
driver portrait

A man who is no stranger to winning, Jean Todt succeeded Max Mosley as head of the FIA. While Mosley navigated his way through a series of crisis - personal and sporting - by forging close links to the media, Todt's approach has been to keep his head down and stay out of the spotlight.

The son of a Jewish doctor who escaped from Poland to France in World War Two, Todt's first foray into motorsport was when he borrowed his father's Mini Cooper S and entered into a rally with school friend Jean-Claude Lefebvre. From that moment, Todt was hooked and became a professional co-driver; by 1969 he was competing on the international stage, co-driving for some of the top names in the world of rally driving.

In 1981 Todt retired from competition and set up Peugeot Talbot Sport. During his time as director of racing activities, the team won two manufacturers' and two drivers' titles. In honour of his achievements, Todt was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, the French equivalent of a knighthood.

However, Peugeot refused to enter F1, and when a position became available at the Ferrari team in 1993, Todt jumped at the chance. At the time, Ferrari were in the doldrums, having won no races between 1991 and 1993, and without a championship victory since 1983. Todt was instrumental in the team's turnaround of fortunes, persuading Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn to join the team in 1996. Under Todt the team won 13 world titles, including six consecutive constructors' titles from 1999 to 2004. Todt came under criticism for his preferential treatment of Schumacher over Ferrari's other driver, notably Rubens Barrichello, but ultimately his approach resulted in an unparalleled period of success for the Italian team.

In 2004 he was promoted to become Ferrari's CEO and in 2007 he became special advisor, handing over the reins of the F1 team to Stefano Domenicali. A year later he left Ferrari altogether and by 2009 he had beaten his former Peugeot rally driver Ari Vatenen in the FIA presidential elections. His tenure as president started in a quiet fashion compared to Mosley as he focused on matters outside F1, but he was criticised in the media for not showing stronger leadership in the build up to the controversial grands prix in Bahrain in 2011 and 2012.

He was elected, unopposed, for a second term at the end of 2013 and is hoping to bring in an F1 budget cap by 2015 - something his predecessor campaigned hard for but failed to achieve.


Todt succeeded Max Mosley as president of the FIA on October 23, 2009

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