Who is Jean Todt? All about Michael Schumacher's Ferrari boss who became the FIA President
French motor racing executive Jean Todt has a long history in F1 as one of the most prominent personalities on the paddock, especially as Ferrari's team principal between 1994 and 2007.
Todt started his career in the sport as a rally co-driver in 1966, working with the likes of Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Hannu Mikkola, Rauno Aaltonen, Guy Fréquelin, and Ove Andersson before retiring in 1981.
That same year, the Frenchman was given the role of Director of Racing for Peugeot, where he remained for over a decade and breathed life into a team that was struggling with significant financial problems. By the end of his time, Todt managed to win the Le Mans 24 Hours with the team in 1992 as well as 1993.
Todt joined Scuderia Ferrari in 1994 as General Manager with 400 people reporting to him at the time and was handed the responsibility of taking the Prancing Horse back to its winning days, and he certainly did so.
He managed to convince the then two-time world champion Michael Schumacher to join Ferrari at the end of the 1995 F1 season. Their partnership resulted in five world championship titles, a testament to the work and talent of the Frenchman.
In 2004, Todt became the CEO and Special Advisor at Ferrari before being appointed President of the FIA in October 2009. His role came to an end back in 2021, after which he was replaced by Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
Former Ferrari boss believes Michael Schumacher lives on because of his wife
Michael Schumacher suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a skiing accident in 2013 and Jean Todt believes that he survived thanks to his wife Corinna. Todt is one of the few people who often visit the 52-year-old and is rather close to his family.
Speaking to Bild, Todt shared an update about the Schumacher family, emphasizing that the hope remains that the F1 legend will recover in some capacity. He said:
"I've spent a lot of time with Corinna since Michael had his serious skiing accident on December 29, 2013. She is a great woman and runs the family. She hadn't expected that. It happened suddenly and she had no choice. But she does it very well. I trust her, she trusts me. Thanks to the work of his doctors and the cooperation of Corinna, who wanted him to survive, he survived - but with consequences. And right now you are fighting the consequences. We hope that things will slowly but surely improve."
Ferrari's last world championship victory came in 2008, with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen making up the driver line-up.