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2018 F1

Todt welcomes Alonso’s decision to grueling F1, WEC schedule

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Jean Todt says he welcomes Fernando Alonso’s decision to split his time between F1 and the world endurance championship in 2018.

The FIA president told EFE news agency: “It’s a very personal decision and we have to respect it.

“I think it’s good for the promotion of motor sport and he also has great programmes for the development of karting.

“He wants to give back to young people some of what racing has given him, so I cannot judge him,” Todt continued.

“20 or 30 years ago many of the F1 drivers also competed in Formula 2 or world sports cars. We also used to have many F1 tests and now there are almost none.

“So if he wants it and his team allows it, I think what he is doing is great.”

Frenchman Todt was once the team boss during Ferrari’s ultra-successful Michael Schumacher era.

But he said he might have allowed a driver to do what Alonso is attempting in 2018.

“Personally, I would have allowed it,” said Todt. “It’s important to get the best out of every driver and for him it means freedom and comfort.”

As for the future of F1 itself, Todt acknowledged that with the arrival of Liberty Media and the expiry of the commercial contracts in 2020, it is a time of upheaval.

“F1 has undergone a big change since Liberty Media bought the commercial rights from Ecclestone and I think it is working well,” he said.

“We have a good relationship with them and are working to ensure the continuation of F1, but there are also talks about the future for the end of the Concorde Agreement.”

Those talks have already led Ferrari to issue a quit threat, and Todt insisted that looking after the interests of the teams is important for the FIA.

“Obviously I talk with Sergio Marchionne and we understand each other perfectly — I know Ferrari very well,” said Todt.

“I have great respect for them and motor sport owes a lot to them. But at the end of the day we should avoid talking about conjecture, speculation and threats and make sure we have all the teams on board in formula one,” he added.

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