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Thursday Thoughts - Who should be the next boss of FOTA? - A surprising but perfect choice for the teams' association leadership role

Published by Mr. C

Jackie posed this week's topic for Thursday Thoughts, and she wanted to know who should replace Luca di Montezemolo as head of the Formula One Teams Association if he decides to stand down from his current role as president come the end of the year.

To answer that question, it's worth examining what it is the president is supposed to do. According to the FOTA website Luca is officially named Chairman of the organisation, although I'm assuming the term president and chairman are interchangeable in this instance. From the same site, his duties shall include:

The Chairman presides the Executive Committee and the Members General Meeting. He is responsible for implementing their decisions and for supervising the work of the Secretary General.

Chairman and Vice Chairman bind FOTA with their joint signature.

Chairman and Vice Chairman are appointed for one year.

The executive committee additionally receives guidance from the findings of a number of subsidiary working groups.

So now we know what Luca's role is, who should replace him?

It's a man's world

According to the above statement, my list of possible candidates has been significantly reduced by the specific wording "He is responsible...". That makes the entire female population ineligible for starters.

However, it's perfectly possible that the wording on the site was tailored toward Luca and nobody saw a reason to recognise equal opportunity laws when writing the man's job description.

Taking this into consideration, the person I'm nominating as boss of FOTA is Williams F1 communications officer Ms. Claire Williams.

I can see me getting into some trouble here...

Communication breakdown

Now I'd love to wax lyrical about how Claire is best qualified to fill the shoes of a person worth an estimated $400m, but I don't really know that much about her. I could pick up the phone and find out some background information in the morning, but that would be a really odd telephone conversation wouldn't it?

I thought so.

Instead I'm just going to point out that women are severely underrepresented within the upper echelons of Formula One, and that is reflected in the complete lack of oestrogen present in every one of FOTA's general meetings. I've no idea if adding a female voice to proceedings would make the tepid waters any smoother, but as no-one has any evidence to the contrary, we'll call it evens.

Given the absence of BMW and Toyota, the Teams Association need Williams more than ever right now, and Claire is lovely person, who has many years of experience handling public relations at the very top flight of F1.

She even presents her own podcast, what more could one ask?