Jean Todt admitted that Michael Schumacher's seventh place in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on Sunday had increased Ferrari's "motivation to react." The Ferrari team principal would not blame any one particular part of their package -- they...
Jean Todt admitted that Michael Schumacher's seventh place in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on Sunday had increased Ferrari's "motivation to react."
The Ferrari team principal would not blame any one particular part of their package -- they are running a 2005 adaptation of their 2004 championship-winning car - and would not even say that the new Formula One Ferrari, due to make its race debut at Barcelona, the fifth round of the championship, might redress the situation.
But he did say that the extreme conditions had made the race very difficult. How difficult? "Yes it has been more difficult than we expected, yes, by a lot."
Todt continued "It would be wrong to say that we are satisfied with the situation. It is not our standard and it is not what we want to do and simply we are not quick enough. So we have to see how to improve the situation 360 degrees."
"The whole package is not performing how we want. There are a lot of reasons. I will say aerodynamic efficiency, not enough grip on the car, and not enough traction. All that adds up and it makes a huge difference."
Todt also refused to blame Bridgestone's tyres - all those ahead of Schumacher on Sunday were on Michelin tyres? "We are all in it together," said Todt of Bridgestone. "We were all involved in the success and we are all involved in the unsuccess. They are fantastic partners and they remain fantastic even if we don't perform well in two races."
And Todt wouldn't make the extreme conditions at Sepang an excuse either -- the track temperature reached over 50 degrees during the race. "Honestly, it would be too convenient to say it was the worst race for us this season. So now we must take this race as a point of reference."
"I think should say of this race that it is where we are and from here we have to recover the situation. You know, even if we are a bit sleepy, it wakes us up and that is good.
"The only thing I may say to those who thought that it was easy for Ferrari to win in the past... This shows that it was difficult, how difficult it is to be consistent in success and at the moment we are feeling that we are not good enough.
Was Todt confident that the new car can make up difference? "No, not confident. I am confident we will do everything we can to improve the situation and you know same drivers, same engineers, mechanics, same motivation."
Testing continues with the new car and it is thought that Ferrari will seek even more performance from it, given their current gap to the front-runners. So would Michael's opinion of the new car in coming week be a deciding factor regarding its introduction?
"It is a lot of things," said Todt. "Of course, we are going to try to do something to act in this situation and to act in a proper way. You know, we were talking about stability and you can panic or you can try to react properly and we are going to try to act properly in this situation to achieve it."
Todt dismissed the politics that had seen Ferrari criticised by the majority of other teams for their testing policy. "It's such an unnecessary situation that we didn't create. It is pointless to keep reminding us of the same things."
"We proposed some adaptations to the testing. We feel it is unfair for the small teams because they don't save any money. We have been proposing a lot of actions to save money from next year, but they (the other teams) refused to come to the meeting."
"It is a distraction for them because they keep having meetings. We will focus on the real problem. The only thing that matters is that we are not competitive and that is all. We will get out of it. We will do it."