F1’s French president of the FIA, Jean Todt, has come under fire for making controversial comments about the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Already scheduled to fly into Brazil this weekend long before Friday night’s atrocities in the French capital, Todt on Saturday sounded reluctant to alter the pre-race plans to mark remembrance day for road crash victims.
“Do you realise the number of people killed in road accidents is by far bigger than the number of people who died in Paris?” he told Canal Plus at Interlagos.
Todt said a “moment of attention” would be observed on Sunday for the Paris victims, but the planned “minute of silence” would be for road deaths, as planned.
After Todt’s comments, many in the paddock expressed alarm and disappointment, asking F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone if he would step in to ensure F1 pays appropriate respect in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
“I will speak with Jean Todt,” Ecclestone told Bild newspaper.
Shortly afterwards, F1 announced that drivers will wear black armbands on Sunday, while a French flag would be flown by the truck on the drivers’ parade.
But the “minute of silence” on the grid, the FIA insisted, will be a “tribute to those who have lost their lives or been injured in road traffic accidents”.
© RIF | GMM