Anti-racism and F1 : Todt calls for a commitment to apolitical | Automotive

The boss of the international automobile Federation (FIA) Jean Todt has praised the "commitment" of the reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton against racism,

Anti-racism and F1 : Todt calls for a commitment to apolitical | Automotive

The boss of the international automobile Federation (FIA) Jean Todt has praised the "commitment" of the reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton against racism, while insisting on the "freedom" of each rider to express or not his beliefs.

a Great friend of Michael Schumacher and the son of a doctor very sensitive to humanitarian causes and medical, Jean Todt is also in charge, in addition to the motor sport, global road safety © PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP

The Point : What do you think of the anti-racism movement and comments of Lewis Hamilton accused F1 of not doing enough to engage ?

Jean Todt : We spoke at great length (with Hamilton) in visio. I have a lot of respect for anyone who has a vocation, a commitment, and I think it is great when one is a leader in its field of wanting to get involved. And we are committed for a very long time at the level of the AIF on diversity, gender equality... Under the proviso that it is not a political debate. Our organization is apolitical, as the olympic Committee, with which we are working very closely. I am in total agreement that the sport is a good platform, and elsewhere, with the Formula 1, it gave the opportunity to those who wanted to express themselves. There are those who may want to kneel down (to protest against racism), there are some who may not have the desire to express themselves the same way. It is freedom, democracy. Motor racing is a media platform for responding to the challenges of society, such as road safety, racism, disability, discrimination... Well, we would like to have a lot more women in automotive.

The competition has taken over as the pandemic Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc, do you have fears health ?

He had to start the car competition, he had to start the game, just like the reopening of the stores, the restaurants... We could not consider staying indefinitely confined to the house. Impossible. So we decided with our partners, the promoters of Formula 1, to redo a schedule extremely original, and then try with medical teams are structured to begin to live again, to start to organize races. We have already done 3 competitions of F1, and for each competition there have been over 4 000 tests, which is huge. All the preparation, before, during, and after, proved to be a great success. But we do not have the right to cry victory, because it is at the mercy of this virus... as long as there is no vaccine.

You also take care of road safety, what is the impact of the containment have they had in this area ?

In every crisis, there are positive sides. So clearly from the time when there were fewer vehicles on the roads, less pedestrians, less than two-wheels, there have been fewer accidents. But, for me, there is a training essential. Because the virus for the moment, he has killed a little over 600 000 people in a few months. The road, every year, kills approximately 1.4 million people. With between 30 and 50 million people are injured with scars. And unlike the Covid-19, where today there is no vaccine, for the road, it was the vaccine : it is education, law enforcement, the level of vehicles, roads, and the quality of relief after the accident. States have organized a system of containment required, and ensured that it was respected. Me, my message, my howl, is asking governments to send the same message for the road safety and respect in the same way.

Updated Date: 23 July 2020, 13:33

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