Ferrari team principal Jean Todt says that there will be no change to the team's approach to the final seven races in the championship, after Sunday's second place finish to Ferrari in the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. "I don't think it...
Ferrari team principal Jean Todt says that there will be no change to the team's approach to the final seven races in the championship, after Sunday's second place finish to Ferrari in the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. "I don't think it changes anything," said Todt, after Ferrari's Felipe Massa finished second to McLaren's Fernando Alonso.
"I don't think we can say that we have made an easy approach to all the races since the beginning of the championship. So we will keep trying to do the same job, we will try to improve the performance of the car and of course, try to resolve reliability problems when we know where to put the effort."
This was a reference to the mechanical problem that stopped Kimi Raikkonen's third- placed Ferrari at half distance. "We definitely had a reliability problem today. As I said before, we have to analyse what has happened. It was a hydraulic problem on Kimi's car and it stopped the car. It's definitely unfortunate but it's our responsibility." Todt added. "We think that we had this kind of problem during free practice in Magny Cours."
But Todt still believes that Kimi is in the fight for the championship. "There are still seven races to go. You saw today that Hamilton did not score points, so immediately you can see the difference. He (Kimi) is 18 points behind the leader and there are seven races to go and we have the potential to win every race, so if we are able to do a good job, it's still possible."
Todt emphasised that it was Raikkonen's decision not to pit for wet tyres on the first lap of the rain-affected race. This lost him the lead to teammate Massa. "We asked both drivers to come into the pits and only Felipe came in. Kimi remained on the track. It was his choice."
Todt also commented on Massa and Alonso's performance on wet tyres; the Brazilian said he had suffered vibration which allowed Alonso to close up. "I would never allow myself to criticise Alonso. He has not been World Champion by chance. He did a great race, tough overtaking and he's a great winner. Saying that, as I said before, in the wet, in the first part of the race, Felipe, who had even more fuel in the car, managed to take a six, seven second lead."
Todt said that he never thought about the irony of Michael Schumacher presenting the Constructors' prize to rival team McLaren's Ron Dennis on the rostrum. "Honestly, I would have preferred that he gave it to a Ferrari team member, but he was asked by the organisers to give the trophy to the winning manufacturer so he did so. But my heart had more pain when Kimi stopped because of a hydraulic problem and when Felipe lost the lead after a fantastic race a few laps before the end."
Finally, Todt summarised Ferrari's ongoing legal action against former employee Nigel Stepney and McLaren's chief designer Mike Coughlan. "We have a penal case ongoing in Italy against Nigel Stepney and we have a civil case in UK against Mike Coughlan.
"There is one hearing organised by the FIA on the 26th. At this stage, as I said two weeks ago, we cannot comment on it. Unfortunately it has been leaked too much in the press over the last days but it's out of our control. The more people who are aware, the more opportunity you have to have leaks. We just have to follow the procedures which are in process." But Todt did explain that Ferrari would be represented. However, he didn't confirm whether they would be offering evidence against McLaren, but closed by saying that "we may comment after the hearing."