Jean Todt was in bullish mood after Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro clinched its sixth consecutive World Constructors' title at the Hungaroring on Sunday. He even confirmed that Ferrari had won the Drivers' title: "100 percent, because mathematically we...
Jean Todt was in bullish mood after Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro clinched its sixth consecutive World Constructors' title at the Hungaroring on Sunday. He even confirmed that Ferrari had won the Drivers' title: "100 percent, because mathematically we have won it."
But after the Ferraris were lapped at the same race last year, Todt admitted that this was a very different event, when it was the Ferraris' turn to lap all but the first five cars. "It's simply that we've been working in the right direction and we have understood the problem that meant that we weren't competitive enough last year but I must say it was mainly a tyre problem."
This year, Bridgestone have supplied new tyres for the last two races. "Basically we have seen since the beginning of the weekend a very competitive Bridgestone-shod Ferrari but we have seen that since Friday and it was finally confirmed in qualifying, where we had to do one quick lap as opposed to the race."
"I knew that we should be fairly competitive at Budapest and that we confirmed on Friday morning. There are a lot of reasons for this but clearly, with Bridgestone, we have been doing a good job on tyre construction, on tyre consistency and it has helped us a lot to be competitive this weekend."
"But that doesn't mean that it will be the same in Spa or in Monza. Every time it's a new challenge, which makes the thing interesting. But even if we know we have a good package, we know that the others are pushing like hell, because they hate seeing us in front, and we hate seeing them in front. That makes the competition."
Any suggestion that now Ferrari are assured of both championships this season, Todt might be relaxed heading into the final five races was swiftly confounded. "Relaxed? I'm never relaxed but I think that's in my nature. It's easy to say that nobody will beat us, but believe me, they are all crazy about how they will beat us and when they will beat us. But we are going to fight as much as we can to beat them still."
And Todt refused to give his opponents a crumb of comfort, that now he is now both sporting director and managing director of Ferrari, he may distance himself from the job of sporting director. "No. I'm organising my life slightly differently but the distance between the head office of the sporting department and the head office of the commercial side is 300 meters, so it's easy to do both jobs."
And would he say there was a secret to Ferrari's success? "Secret? No secret. It all depends on what you call a secret. The secret is people, people and partners. That's the secret. But everybody has partners and everybody has human resources in their company. But maybe the way we handle it, the way we deal with the people, that's our style. Each company has its own style of management and of running a company. But I think everybody is aiming to get the best out of it."
Todt was unable to clear up the only glitch that appeared in the team's armour, when there seemed to be a problem with the fuel rig. "I don't know exactly what was the problem, but it didn't have any effect on the race. It seemed that we were going to solve the problem, which was what mattered. It was only on one of the fuel rigs."
For the immediate future, Todt was looking forward to the celebration garden party tonight in Maranello for all the employees. And then he will be concerned with the Belgian Grand Prix. "I always feel that we will not win the next race. My concern is what will happen in Spa now."