Jean Todt, president of the International Automobile Federation (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, FIA), had a long way to go before he became the world’s top motorsport boss.
Born in France on February 25, 1946, Todt began his relation on the tracks at the age of 20, as a rally co-driver and it was not until 1981 that he participated in the world championship of the discipline, crowning himself champion with Talbot Lotus.
Following his victorious stint as rally co-driver, he was appointed Peugeot Racing Director and created Peugeot Talbot Sport (PTS), which won the FIA Drivers and Manufacturers’ World Rally Championship titles in 1985 and 1986, before taking over first place in the general classification of the five editions of the Paris-Dakar Rally held between 1987 and 1991.
Brilliant leap in his career
Although it is true that Todt had already carved an important path in his career in motorsport, his profile grew with his arrival at the Ferrari team.
His work in the Italian team began immediately despite winning three titles with Peugeot. The Frenchman had to lead a total restructuring that gave rapid results, after a four-year drought without winning any Grand Prix.
Related content: FIA President: Formula E is a turning point in motorsport
The icing on the cake in Todt’s management at Maranello occurred in 1996 with the arrival of Michael Schumacher, who gave the missing potential to take the manufacturer to the top of the highest category of world motorsport with the achievement of the constructors’ title in 1999, first in 16 years.
That would be the beginning of a total dominance of Formula 1 between 2000 and 2004, where Ferrari achieved total hegemony, both at the driver level with Schumacher, and at the level of the teams leading the grid.
Todt has among his record 14 titles, eight constructors, six as a pilot and a total of 106 Grand Prix won. After performing exceptionally, in 2009 he decided to leave the team and take on new challenges.
Arrival to the FIA
Jean Todt is about to celebrate 12 years as president of the governing body of world motorsport. He was elected on October 23, 2009. He was re-elected on December 6, 2013 and again on December 8, 2017.
His full support for hybrid and electric technology has renewed his management with the creation of new categories such as Formula E, TCR, Rallycross, GT Electric, among others.
In this field, Todt is known as the great promoter of Formula E together with the Spanish Alejandro Agag, with whom at a dinner held in Paris, they devised the project on a napkin, and which is currently a real show with seven seasons in dispute.
Writteb by I Jhonattan González