Jean Todt, FIA president and the former team principal of Ferrari from 1993 to 2009 is in talks with John Elkann to make a return to F1.
In his tenure as the CEO and team boss of the Ferrari racing team, Jean Todt won 14 constructors and drivers titles. He has been the president of the FIA for some time now. But his mandate is about to expire in a few days.
An Italian newspaper, Corriere Della Sera, reported that the Frenchman is in talks with the Chairman of the Scuderia Ferrari, John Elkann. However, he will join the team in a role that would be similar to the role that Niki Lauda had in Mercedes.
This way, he won’t have to carry the burden of a CEO, but Todt will be able to share his expertise in the role of an advisor for the team.
— Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) December 5, 2021
An approval from John Elkann on the same is awaited. However, reports suggest that Todt’s involvement could help Elkann deploy certain political functions in the team.
For instance, the requirements of the 2026 regulations without taking away any of the responsibilities of team boss Mattia Binotto. It could help Binotto to focus on more immediate performance as the Italian giants bid to get back to winning ways in 2022.
Can Jean Todt justify his involvement?
Jean Todt, who will turn 76 next year, was in Maranello a few days ago. He was there to support the second edition of the ‘Girls on Track – Rising Stars’ initiative promoted by the FIA.
Todt dedicated himself to a UN project to increase ‘road safety,’ while maintaining a network of high-level relationships granting him extensive knowledge of how the sport works.
The Frenchman also has a close relationship with Stefano Domenicali, the current F1 CEO who replaced him as Ferrari team principal. Furthermore, Todt’s son Nicolas is the manager of Charles Leclerc.
But, will a former team boss, from an era that the squad has moved on from, bring enough to the table to justify his involvement? Well, only John Elkann knows.