Todt defends tyre complaint

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has defended the team's decision to lodge a complaint with the FIA in regard to Michelin's tyres and believes had Ferrari been using alleged illegal tyres it would have been a different matter. Many believe the ...

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has defended the team's decision to lodge a complaint with the FIA in regard to Michelin's tyres and believes had Ferrari been using alleged illegal tyres it would have been a different matter. Many believe the Scuderia is engineering the situation because it is struggling to retain its, and Michael Schumacher's, titles but Todt insists this is not the case.

"What do you think would have happened if the Bridgestone tyres on a Ferrari were too wide?" Todt was quoted as saying by Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. "Do you think they would have kept quiet? They would have crucified us. They would have accused us of cheating. Our opponents would have demanded we be disqualified for all the races it could be proven we had used illegal tyres."

Ferrari lodged the complaint after its tyre partner Bridgestone presented the team with evidence in Hungary that it claimed proved the Michelin tyres were not conforming to the 270 mm width rule after use. Todt said the fact that Ferrari did not lodge the complaint at the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend proved it was not a case of sour grapes.

"It's our view that such an issue shouldn't be discussed at the race," he said. "We didn't want to harm the sport. But I'll tell you, it was not an easy decision. Our opponents should explain why they think we're sore losers. We didn't challenge the race results in Hungary even though we could have. There was enough evidence there."

Michelin's partner teams tested a wider tyre design at Monza last week as the manufacturer attempts to comply with the FIA rule but the French supplier still argues that not enough time was given to make changes in its tyres before Monza.

This debate looks set to run a while longer yet but the ultimate outcome, no matter who is wrong and who is right, is that the best F1 season for years is being marred by politics and off-track arguments.

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