A wonderful victory for Todt

"It was a wonderful victory," smiled Jean Todt after Michael Schumacher lead home brother Ralf and teammate Rubens Barrichello in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix. "It's the seventh win for Michael on the Montreal track, it's the seventh win for...

"It was a wonderful victory," smiled Jean Todt after Michael Schumacher lead home brother Ralf and teammate Rubens Barrichello in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix. "It's the seventh win for Michael on the Montreal track, it's the seventh win for Ferrari and for Michael out of eight Grands Prix.

Jean Todt.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

"It's true that we took the start of the race in a situation where you wouldn't normally win a Grand Prix, because to have Michael in sixth on the grid and Rubens seventh could lead one to think that others would fight for victory but since the start of the weekend, we thought that a two stop strategy could be a winning one and it turned out to be the case."

It was only four hours later that Todt received the news that his cars had finished first and second following the disqualification of Ralf Schumacher and the Williams team for illegal brake ducts. It was the icing on the cake for Todt after his strategy turned out to be so successful as to give him victory.

"Honestly, we knew it was going to be very tough but we were expecting to be fighting for a good result but we were not predicting that we would win. We knew we had a chance, but of course, it makes things more unpredictable if you start in sixth and seventh position. No, we knew that on this circuit probably we would have been more competitive with the package we had on two pit stops so that's what we went for.

"Of course, it's rewarding for all the team but on the other hand, you know Ferrari's position at the moment is not sixth and seventh on the grid so if we are sixth and seventh on the grid, we know that with actual qualifying things maybe will be more unpredictable and they were more unpredictable, but at the end of the day the strategy which was worked out was the right one."

Jean was asked how he maintained his motivation with the team's success rate. "The right people at the right place," he replied, continuing, "to have stability and just involvement, being focused, never leaving something for granted, humble, cautious, trying to achieve what we want to achieve."

But surely, that didn't leave him much time for anything else, he was asked. "Enough to sleep. What else?" he replied. "You don't have the choice. If you want to do things, you have to be committed and you have to do them well, so it takes time."

Todt also confirmed that even though he had great respect for FIA president Max Mosley and his achievements at the FIA, being his deputy was not a job he considered, particularly after his recent promotion to managing director of Ferrari.

"You know at the moment you are talking about my input at Ferrari. Now I am managing director of the whole company it's probably the best job and the most demanding job for somebody who loves cars, who loves competition, so that's what I'm responsible for at the moment and probably I can understand that my name would be taken as a candidate for the future but first of all, Max Mosley is doing an outstanding job, he is focused on his problems, he's very involved, very much dedicated to what he does and I am not sure I would like to do what he does."

The afternoon in Canada ended with France just beating England at soccer in Euro 2004 at the last moment. How did Todt feel that his national team had beaten England, after he had beaten the English teams on the track? "Listen. I am sincerely happy when France wins," said Todt, "but I admit to being selfish when it comes to the objectives which I concentrate on and I am more than anything happy when Ferrari wins."

-ferrari-

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