French F1 hopeful ART not expecting FIA 'gifts'

ART is not expecting a free ticket onto the 2011 grid, even though the French team's boss is the son of FIA president Jean Todt. Nicolas Todt, 32, responded to rumours his Burgundy-based outfit is favourite to win F1's 13th place in Formula One...

ART is not expecting a free ticket onto the 2011 grid, even though the French team's boss is the son of FIA president Jean Todt.

Nicolas Todt, 32, responded to rumours his Burgundy-based outfit is favourite to win F1's 13th place in Formula One due to the family link to the ruling body.

"My father is anything but stupid," Todt said in the latest edition of France's Auto Hebdo magazine.

"For us, we need to do things even better than the best in order to not be open to criticism," he added.

"Our dossier needs to be better than any others, because I do not expect any gifts from the FIA, quite the contrary," said Todt.

ART already races in the formative F3 Euroseries, GP2 and GP3 categories.

Todt manages not only Ferrari's Felipe Massa, but also the French 20-year-old Jules Bianchi, who currently races for ART's GP2 team and is a part of Ferrari's driver development programme.

As recently as this week, Bianchi was at the wheel of a 2008 Ferrari at Vallelunga.

Nicolas Todt admitted he would like to see ART enter Formula One as a French team with a French driver at the wheel.

"That would be even more enjoyable," he conceded.

"And even better with French technical partners as well. France has an enormous reservoir of human talent and enterprise at a very high level.

"There is certainly enough to show the English what we are capable of," added Todt.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa , Jean Todt , Nicolas Todt , Jules Bianchi
Teams Ferrari