Outstanding season for Todt

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt was in a buoyant mood after the team's ninth one-two of the year in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday. "An outstanding result to end an outstanding season," was the way Todt described Michael Schumacher's...

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt was in a buoyant mood after the team's ninth one-two of the year in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday. "An outstanding result to end an outstanding season," was the way Todt described Michael Schumacher's victory over teammate Rubens Barrichello after 53 laps of the demanding Japanese track.

Ferrari's record-breaking figures were etched in his mind. "We have achieved fifteen wins, nine one-twos, Michael taking his third consecutive World title with Ferrari, after only eleven races and Ferrari's taking it's fourth consecutive Constructors' championship after 13 races. Rubens took second place in the Drivers' classification with one race to go and we have scored 221 points, which is the same as all the other teams put together."

"Fantastic," he continued. "It's been a dream all through the season but occasionally we have pinched ourselves to remind ourselves that this is not a dream. That has kept up the pressure and kept us working and it's that work that has reaped success.

"But this is a team that has remained pretty much the same since 1997. And when that happens, in general, everybody works together, it's like a family. We like to work at Ferrari. We don't leave this team to go to another team."

Asked if there is one thing that had mainly contributed to this record, Todt would not single out one person or factor. "Everything together," he emphasised. "I don't believe that just one thing contributed more than anything else. Everyone, from the girl who answers the 'phone up to our drivers, our engineers, everyone contributes to this."

But again, he paid tribute to Bridgestone's remarkable effort, particularly in their all-important one-two on home ground. "It was important for Bridgestone. They deserve this kind of result so much because they have been so much part of Ferrari's success this year."

Todt, however, admitted, that it hadn't all been plain sailing. "We had a lot of great moments, but a lot of difficult moments," he explained. "The most difficult moment was when Rubens didn't leave the grid at the French Grand Prix. You see your driver in trouble and that was a very bad moment for me."

To have lived such a great season was surely hugely satisfying, so was Todt now sad that it was now all over? "No, it's been a long season and we are looking forward to the next one," he explained but refuted rumours from other teams and drivers that Ferrari already had an advantage for next year. "Let them talk," he said dismissively. "The season now is over and we must concentrate to be in good form for next year."

However, he was looking forward to one final event in the Ferrari calendar, the Ferrari Days celebration at Misano next weekend when the team will make a final performance at the Italian circuit near Rimini. "A day among friends," is how it's described.

-ferrari-

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