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Todt keen to avoid 'confrontation' with Ecclestone

ESPNF1 Staff
April 5, 2011 « Plenty more points finishes to come - Mallya | »
Jean Todt: "I feel confrontation, unless it is necessary to achieve the final result, loses you time" © Getty Images

FIA president Jean Todt says he will not be drawn into a war of words with Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone recently named Todt a "poor man's Max" in reference to the FIA president's predecessor Max Mosley. The jibe was part of a wider tirade from Ecclestone against the 2013 engine regulations, which will see four-cylinder turbos replace the current V8s in a move to make F1 greener.

But Todt appears unmoved by the remarks and insists there is no room for negotiation on the new rules.

"The manufacturers agreed [the new rules], the world council agreed unanimously and Bernie is part of the world council," he told F1 journalist James Allen and the Financial Times. "There is emotion, but what is important is never to overreact. I feel confrontation, unless it is necessary to achieve the final result, loses you time."

Todt is also committed to getting the FIA a better deal under the next Concorde Agreement - a commercial contract that ties the teams, the FIA and the sport's commercial rights holders together and allocates revenues between the three. The current Agreement will terminate at the end of 2012 and negotiations over the next one are expected to start in earnest this year. It will be the first Concorde Agreement negotiations Todt has taken part in as FIA president and he is keen to tread a different path to Mosley.

In 2001 Mosley's FIA signed away F1's commercial rights for the next 100 years to Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) for a reported $360m. The deal was seen as relatively cheap at the time but Todt stands by it, pointing out that it cannot be altered anyway. However, he does admit that the FIA now has higher costs and will fight to cover them by getting a bigger slice of the revenues under the next Concorde Agreement.

"I will make sure that everybody realises that since the [100-year] agreement has been signed and now times have changed, technology has changed. 15 years ago you didn't have all the sophisticated electronics you can enjoy today when you watch the TV. All that has a cost. Definitely we need to take that in consideration because I must make sure that the funding for the FIA is correct. Our costs are greater than they were 10 years ago. Evolution has a price."