F1’s Pontius Pilate


Judaeo Christian tradition recounts what maybe the first recorded incident of a public official claiming ‘plausible deniability’.

The Pontius (ruler) called Pilate presided over a troublesome outpost of the Roman Empire called Judea. However, the local population had their own cultural leaders who often confronted the Roman rulers who had supplanted them.

Pilate found himself one day presented with a difficult decision. He had before him a man found guilty of murder and another whom he believed innocent of all crimes. It was the time of the Jewish Passover festival and tradition had it that the praefectus/governor of Judea would to commute one prisoner’s death sentence by popular acclaim.

The local rulers hated this Nazarene upstart called Jesus and wanted him put to death having tried him and found him guilty of blasphemy and treason against Rome.

Pilate was not so sure. He wanted to do what he believed to be the right thing and release the innocent man Jesus, but the crowd were baying for his blood and demanding the murder Barabus be released.

The situation was turning ugly and so when Pilate saw he was getting nowhere, he publically washed his hands in a bowl of water stating, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your responsibility!” (The Bible – NEV)

The President of the FIA, John Todt, has recently admitted he should have acted to ensure the cost of the new V6 Turbo Hybrid engines was more affordable for customer teams.

He now claims to be ready to address this problem, though his current plan concluded, “I need good advisors so that we can go through with the challenge.”

Sounds rather vague.

Todt also believes the general costs in F1 are too high and there is a consensus that the distribution of F1’s income is not equitable and exacerbates this problem.

However, the president of the FIA has no intention of even questioning the income distribution issue with the bigger teams or Bernie Ecclestone.

“If people expect the FIA to change the distribution of the commercial rights, then it’s true that I give up,” said Todt.

“It would be completely irrelevant for me to say ‘I’m going to speak to them’ because those are the rules.

“How should I allow myself to claim something that is not within our responsibility?”

But the callous indifference didn’t stop there. The killer blow was yet to come.

“Now, new agreements have been signed and they are much more favourable to some teams than to some other teams.

“So we are facing people who are very happy to have signed, and we are facing people who are very unhappy to have signed.

 “Saying that, there is a common thing – they have all signed.”

And so saying, he washed his hands – and swept out.


17 responses to “F1’s Pontius Pilate

    • Is the Strategy Group the Judean People’s Front – “this calls for immediate discussion…”

      • No, they are People’s Front of Judea. The JDF are mere “splitters”… Or was it the other way round ?

  1. Daft question, did Marussia ever actually get an agreement from Bernie? I know for most of last season they didn’t have one…. If so, did it transfer to Manor?

  2. I have to assume that he has some plan in the background (even if it’s only vague) – otherwise, how could he be so uselessly disengaged?

  3. Pilate, an appropriate metaphor… well done!

    He’s been hiding in the dark for months. Speculation was rampant… is he wily, or lazy?

    Now it appears he is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

    The emperor has no clothes…

  4. Todt is horrible. Really.

    The only explanation is that being the president of FIA is simply beyong his regular capacity. Managing one team, fine. Managing something larger, way over his head.

  5. ….absolutely loved the comparison with Poncius Pilate and the replies have been great!!! Juan Ramos knows his stuff….easily the most concise summing up of the current FIA Presidency, and I agree 100%. Stephen and TR4, (I had 1 of those….sadly swapped it for a TR6)….good points …but maybe they were swerved a few contract negotiations by BE to allow them to make up the minimum number of entrants per race which BE promises the host parties……. Vortex had me chuckling with that humorous approach. Chandelier indeed bud! #:)

  6. “they have all signed”

    Excellent points. While some have signed among the first (on happy terms), others were then presented with an offer they couldn’t refuse: sign, or go for the chop…

  7. I think this comparison flatters Todt too much….
    Was my first thought.


    To get all the right people at Ferrari and make it happen is no mean accomplishment – in spite of Erico’s comment. The man is surely politically skilled.

    So, he…
    – must have a plan to get full control of F1 back at FIA, or
    – isn’t interested in FIA but only in UN, or
    – is just plain stupid but managed to attract the right people who made him look smart.

    There Has to be something. It’s not right.

  8. Thanks God that Toadt has stayed out of politics. Imagine the damage he could have caused to millions of people’s lives if had chosen that route instead ..

  9. Do I need to remind everyone the Todt is French and the French are not good at politics. They love intrigue and backstabbing, but seldom achieve anything of note.

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