Todt: F1 reforms like Great Depression’s ‘New Deal’

Date published: May 3 2020

Jean Todt compares Formula 1's situation to the 'New Deal' of America's Great Depression.

FIA president Jean Todt fears Formula 1 will need reforms similar to the ‘New Deal’ drafted up in America after the Great Depression.

Formula 1 is sitting precariously on the edge of a cliff financially due to the global health pandemic.

With no racing possible yet in 2020 teams are losing an estimated $2m for every race lost, while the new regulations have been pushed back and a reduction to the upcoming budget cap is very likely.

And Todt believes the financial impact of this pandemic will prompt manufacturers to consider their role in motorsport going forward.

A “complete rethink” may be needed with Todt comparing the situation to America’s Great Depression of the 1930s.

“I don’t think that the priority now for a manufacturer is to secure continuity in motor racing,” Todt said in an interview with the FIA’s AUTO magazine, as quoted by Motorsportweek.com.

“I’m sure some teams, suppliers and manufacturers may have to review their programmes. They might be constrained to stop.

“I hope team owners and sponsors will keep the motivation. We must encourage them to feel they still like it and need it. On that, we have a responsibility. That’s why we should listen to everybody.

“We must be humble; even if we love motor sport, it is not essential for society. So we have to ensure that we make proper choices and wise decisions.

“In fact, what’s needed is a complete rethink of how we go motor racing. We could talk of a ‘New Deal’ approach, like America had after the Great Depression”.

“We are living through unprecedented times in terms of the all-encompassing nature of the obstacles we face – as nations, cities, communities, as neighbours and as families.

“It is at difficult moments such as this that the strength of our family at the FIA is revealed and it is my hope that we will all play a part in helping to overcome this challenge and, as we emerge from the crisis, in creating a better future for us all.”

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