No favoured driver at Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team principal Jean Todt has said that there are no plans to impose any kind of strategy to favour one of his drivers over the other in order to maximize Ferrari's chances in the World Championship. His comments come...

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team principal Jean Todt has said that there are no plans to impose any kind of strategy to favour one of his drivers over the other in order to maximize Ferrari's chances in the World Championship. His comments come after Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen finished one-two in the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul on Sunday. However, with five races to go, the Ferrari pair - led by Massa - trail championship leader Lewis Hamilton by 15 points.

Race winner Felipe Massa celebrates with Kimi Raikkonen, Jean Todt and Scuderia Ferrari team members.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"At the moment there is no plan to make any kind of strategy between one or the other driver," explained Todt. "It would be something that would be inappropriate. Our drivers are doing such a good job, after 12 Grands Prix, with just one point difference. Most of the problems they had were because of some mistakes that we did. They made some mistakes, but that is normal. We are all human. We feel the championship is still open. It will be tough, but it is always tough. And as I always said, we will try the best until the end and I believe we still can carry this on."

Todt felt that Ferrari's performance was "very pleasing and very rewarding. We knew we had a competitive car. We knew Ferrari would be quicker in the race than during qualifying, as it has been since the beginning of the season. It is probably our weakest point.

"We chose to go with the softer tyres, which maybe were not as competitive during the race, but still they probably helped for the start. Felipe did a great start. Kimi as well. We were first and second. We had to push for most of the race but the race went perfectly well. Very often when you are first and second it happens, and this was the case."

Todt went on to praise his two drivers. "Both are doing a very good job. There is a very good harmony in the team, they both want to win and there is definitely the same chance. Like Kimi, Felipe is superb."

But he also had praise for Hamilton, who he felt was lucky to finish fifth and score four World Championship points after a puncture. "Lewis did a fantastic race. After what happened he was quite lucky to bring four points home but when you look at what he has done this season he is doing a great job. He was even quite successful when he had a problem today. It can happen to us, and it is part of racing."

Todt has admitted that good qualifying is vital, so does getting pole position carry too much importance? Should the rules be changed? "That is why it is very important and difficult to achieve. It is very difficult to change. We already know that it will be difficult. We know it is better to be in the front. It is such a high level of competition but everything must be perfect if you want to achieve it. I don't see what can be done at the moment to improve the situation."

Todt also spoke about his own future and that of technical director Ross Brawn who took a sabbatical at the end of last year. "I am not at all prepared to retire," said Todt. "I still feel very motivated, with the same anxiety before every race, the same happiness when we are successful, the same unhappiness when we are not successful. So I hope I can be here a few more years. I am not thinking at all about stopping working."

Todt explained that he and Ross had been in discussion. "We will have other discussions. And at the moment no commitment from either side has been made. We are just discussing about his options, and our options. Maybe we will find some common point, maybe we will not find some common point. But we will always still be friends, we will always have respect for each other. He has been doing tremendous work at Ferrari, and Ferrari have given him a lot. So our partnership has been good for him and good for Ferrari."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Ross Brawn , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari