In the wake of the Renault race-fixing scandal from 2008 that came to light a year later in 2009, new FIA president Jean Todt wants team bosses to hold licenses, much like the drivers who compete in motorsport events. On paper, it seems like a good idea, especially as Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds (the two men charged over Nelson Piquet Jr’s ‘accident’) are currently in the process of overturning their bans. By holding a license it would mean that the bosses can essentially have these taken away if they do wrong, and therefore can be banished from the sport should a crime be serious enough.
Also, as we have seen with the driver’s super licenses, it could also prove to be a nice little earner for the FIA. In 2008 and again in 2009, and while under the guidance of Max Mosley, the super license fees were updated to reflect a driver’s worth, basing the fee on the amount of points accrued in the previous season as well as a flat fee and a charge for insurance. While this may not be applicable to the bosses (unless it was based on the constructor points), the FIA could top up their funds with this idea.
However, while having a control over the bosses may be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. Max Mosley caused a bit of unnecessary unpopularity over his updating of the driver’s fees, and that could very easily be repeated if Todt isn’t careful. Furthermore, it can also give some people a little too much power, meaning that the sport could be damaged if the wrong decisions were made. Usually, one would have to say that is a very rare occurrence, but this is Formula One, and while Mosley is no longer the president, we are yet to see exactly how Todt handles himself and the organisation he resides over.
Are licenses for team bosses a good idea?