Ferrari's team principal Jean Todt labelled Sunday's one-two in the Italian Grand Prix 'special' after an emotional welcome from the crowd for winner Rubens Barrichello and World Champion Michael Schumacher. Both admitted that it was an ...
Ferrari's team principal Jean Todt labelled Sunday's one-two in the Italian Grand Prix 'special' after an emotional welcome from the crowd for winner Rubens Barrichello and World Champion Michael Schumacher. Both admitted that it was an extraordinary moment as they stood on the new Monza rostrum, surrounded by a massive sea of red-clothed spectators.
"Each race we go to we try to win," said Todt, adding "like other competitors, of course, but today was special, because it's in Ferrari's country, it's in front of all the employees of the company who were there in a grandstand which was specially dedicated to them."
And Todt was as overcome as his drivers by the crowd's reaction. "When you see the enthusiasm at the finish it is just something fantastic. I think it was enough to see the total enthusiasm of the tifosi as they invaded the track in order to understand what they felt about a Ferrari success."
In theory, of course, it should have been a Schumacher victory to celebrate what the Scuderia hope will be a Ferrari one-two in the Drivers' championship but Todt wasn't unhappy with the result, particularly as Barrichello had earned his third win of the season. "Let's say it's a situation that suits us fine given the fact that we're very happy that Rubens is still able finish in second place in the World Drivers Championship."
Ferrari might have set a new record for the fastest ever race, but Todt wasn't particularly interested in records. "Above everything, what pleases us more than anything is to win races. If we score a one-two as we did today, and it's for the seventh time this year, then that's enough for us."
The Ferraris started on two different strategies, but it was hard to differentiate between them. "There was very little between the two in simulation which meant that, given we had one car in second place and the other in fourth on the starting grid, it was what might happen at the start and what the cars in front of us might do that made us decide to divide the possibilities and have two different strategies."
Todt also recognised that in spite of Ferrari's domination, that the race of interest thanks to battles further back. "Listen, it's very good that the World Championship has seen the domination of Ferrari. It's not the first time that we've seen a team dominate, it's part of motor sport history.
"This year it's Ferrari that dominates. Nevertheless we've had races which have frequently been very interesting, either with battles for the top placings, or for the lesser placings, as we've seen all season. But what we saw today at Monza were battles for the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth places, the points-scorers. We saw other battles further back, and there were other cars covered by a narrow margin and so it was very interesting for the spectators."
Todt also acknowledged that while Ferrari frequently wins, they are not always on pole position. "On the one hand, people complain that Ferrari dominates too much in the races so it's perhaps good that qualifying sometimes sees other very strong teams ahead. So there are explanations, even if we try everything we can to get on pole, even though we don't always manage it, as was the case here."
The team's attitude to winning, however, means that they are never complacent, always happily surprised by a result. Sometimes they don't believe the results themselves. "That has happened. We try to enjoy these amazing moments, but we are also humble in these circumstances, which I think is something that forces us to apply ourselves to our job and try to improve in all areas, and to push us for next year. It's perhaps a shame that in some ways it prevents us from totally revelling in this success but generally it gives us greater motivation for continuing."
Once again, he paid tribute to Bridgestone's effort. The Japanese tyre company had supplied tyres which were made in Japan and delivered to Monza in a week. "It isn't just today, it's the whole championship. Their contribution is great. We never spoke about our success without associating Bridgestone in that success. What they did was amazing, but it means that we worked well with them, we did a lot of testing with them, so it's good teamwork."
But the work continues. The team will be testing four days in Mugello, up until Thursday with test drivers Luca Badoer and Luciano Burti, then the third day with Schumacher and Badoer and the fourth with Michael.