Todt hopeful for final races

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt vowed that his team would be 'working harder than ever' in the three week break up to Hungarian Grand Prix, next round of the Formula One World Championship, after a disappointing German Grand Prix on Sunday reaped...

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt vowed that his team would be 'working harder than ever' in the three week break up to Hungarian Grand Prix, next round of the Formula One World Championship, after a disappointing German Grand Prix on Sunday reaped only two points for Michael Schumacher and the team.

Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt.
Photo by Ferrari Media Center.
"This race was obviously a considerable disappointment, principally because on the first lap we lost three cars from different leading teams, including Rubens Barrichello," explained Todt, who went on to point out what happened to Schumacher. "While we weren't in a position to win the race, we were heading for second place which was something very satisfying but unfortunately events decided otherwise and Michael was only able to finish seventh after a slow puncture which required another pit stop, losing a lot of time getting back to the pits."

Todt was able to explain why two weeks ago Ferrari was the dominant package with Bridgestone, whereas in Germany, it was Williams with BMW and Michelin. "It was a very tight competition and probably a race where the package of Williams, BMW and Michelin has been the most competitive. That doesn't mean that it will be like that next time. But I don't think that we should concentrate only on the engine, or the tyres or the car; it's the whole lot which was very good."

And Todt certainly acknowledges that the race winner in Germany, Juan Pablo Montoya, is now Michael Schumacher's main rival. "If you take the last five or six races, I think out of six races he's scored 50 points out of 60 available, so it's 8.8 average per race which is not bad." Asked if he was surprised by his performance at Hockenheim, Todt said "you must see who is behind, what has happened to our rivals. Definitely he was much quicker than anybody else on the track today, yes."

Both Todt's drivers were involved in possible controversial incidents: Barrichello when he was squeezed by Raikkonen on the outside and Ralf Schumacher inside; Michael Schumacher when he had to go off circuit to overtake Jarno Trulli. Ralf Schumacher has subsequently been docked ten places on the grid, a decision against which his team appeals.

But Todt refused to comment on the Barrichello incident. "They have spoken with the drivers, they see much more, than what we can on our little monitors. They do their job, it's not up to me to judge whether their decision is good or not good." As for the Trulli incident, he pointed out that the Italian didn't really allow Michael Schumacher track room.

With a test ban in full flow, Ferrari are not able to test at all, but the pace of work back at the factory continues. As for the Hungarian Grand Prix, Todt says "I think Hungary will be a tough race for us. I hope not as tough as this one but it will be tough. I think the others after that should be better. But saying that, we will try to do a good race in Budapest."

And Todt is still positive. "It's a hard, difficult and competitive championship: four races before the end, Michael could still be World Drivers Champion and Ferrari is leading the Constructors' championship. But having said that, the last four races will be very difficult."

-ferrari-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari , Williams