Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team principal Jean Todt took special delight in Sunday's eleventh win of the season by Michael Schumacher in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. It was a win that equalled Schumacher's record for 11 wins in a season,...
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team principal Jean Todt took special delight in Sunday's eleventh win of the season by Michael Schumacher in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. It was a win that equalled Schumacher's record for 11 wins in a season, set in 2002, although there are still six races to go this year.
"This victory is all the nicer for having been obtained in front of so many fans of the Scuderia and our driver, in Germany, a very important market for us," said Todt, who admitted that wins are still special. "We always look forward. We are interested in what is coming, not what has happened. We are interested in what has happened - if it is painful. But if it is good - we must move forwards because the competition is very tough."
Asked if he felt that the team's many rivals were getting closer, Todt replied "each race is difficult. To achieve success depends on so many different things added together. So it's very difficult."
But he admitted that they had arrived at Hockenheim feeling confident. "We knew we would be competitive. We'd been testing in Jerez, where it was the same temperatures as we thought we would find here and we knew we were competitive with Bridgestone - they did an excellent job."
As ever, he included the Japanese tyre company in his role of honour, among other contributory factors: "a great driver, a competitive car, a reliable engine, quick and consistent tyres and a first class team, these are the ingredients that go to make a win."
It had been a great race, with plenty of overtaking manoeuvres. Todt felt that the lively event had been "a lot due to the track, to the strategy, the tyres. It depends a lot on so many things. Normally, you spend two days to get the quickest car at the front so why should there be a lot of overtaking in the race? If you want to make overtaking, then start the grid in reverse order - we would see a lot of overtaking but it would not be natural."
But he felt the track design, which was revised by race track architect Hermann Tilke a couple of years ago, had had an effect. "Sure, it helps," said Todt. "Braking at the moment, when you brake so late, makes overtaking so difficult because most of the drivers brake at the same distance. So overtaking is difficult - it's not like other formulas."
However, it was at the very point that most of the overtaking manoeuvres took place, that one of the team's cars chances were compromised. Rubens Barrichello admitted that he probably braked too late, locked up his wheels and hit David Coulthard, forcing him to make an unscheduled stop. "It was a shame for Rubens, who finished outside the points for the first time this season," explained Todt.
Formula One now enters a three week gap before the next race in Hungary, which includes a ban on testing. Asked if he felt that Ferrari still had enough of a gap to the opposition, Todt sounded a warming: "I'm sure that they may be in front of us in some races."