Ferrari's Jean Todt admitted that he expected to be more competitive in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, after Michael Schumacher finished seventh and Rubens Barrichello an eventual eleventh. "Qualifying mainly went to our disadvantage but it's ...
Ferrari's Jean Todt admitted that he expected to be more competitive in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, after Michael Schumacher finished seventh and Rubens Barrichello an eventual eleventh.
"Qualifying mainly went to our disadvantage but it's better to get all the shit in one year and start better for next year, but it happens. We have been so successful, so fortunate in the past so it's just a bad cycle. For us, we just have to learn from it and improve where we have to improve."
Todt explained that after an initial burst of performance, when Michael Schumacher rose from 14th on the grid to fifth in 14 laps, the Ferrari's pace dropped off. "Since the start of the season, in these conditions, we've had a loss of performance at the end of the first third of the race and it's hard to resist to quicker cars when they're behind us."
That dropped Schumacher to his eventual seventh place, but Todt thought it should have been worth more. "I think Michael, once again, deserved more than sixth place because he fought for sixth place but finished seventh and it was for him something that was very important. It was his fighting spirit and doing as much as he could for the team, because he loves his job, he loves his team and he loves the sport."
Sealing third in the Constructors' championship, however, was not much reward for Todt. The drivers, he said, had done what they could. "We know that Formula One is a mechanical sport where to win a race or score a good result you need a good package: reliability, team, chassis, tyres and engine. "So our third place in the Constructors' championship is fairly significant."
"Having said that, two teams have been more competitive than Ferrari-Bridgestone so we knew that it's something that could happen one day. Unfortunately after six wins in the Constructors' championship and five Drivers' championships with Michael it makes little difference whether you finish third or fourth in the championship."
Looking forward to next year, Todt said that "we're preparing as well as we can -- I can't say that we can prepare more thoroughly but we are attempting to reply to the problems that we've had this year. Even if next year's car won't be in its latest specification for the beginning of the season, considering the introduction of the new V8, 2.4 litre engine, we have decided to introduce the car as early as possible which is why we will introduce it by mid-January '06."
Todt then discussed the various changes that had been proposed and discussed during the weekend. "Basically it was a meeting called by the drivers, and we tackled a number of subjects among which was qualifying. According to the information that we have, there has been a drop in the TV audience. Media and television have been complaining that there is no spectacle when it comes to qualifying. But we are going to wait for the Formula One Commission which will meet on October 24 when decisions will be made."
Todt said that he would wait to find out which of the features would work in favour of Ferrari. "I want to have internal meetings first, to see what is in favour and what is against, compared to the current situation."
He was, however, in favour of reversing some rule changes made this year which he considered to be dangerous, in particular, the use of one tyre throughout qualifying and the race. But attempting to copy the success of the Japanese Grand Prix, where some competitors started at the back of the grid due to adverse weather conditions in qualifying would simply make Formula One a circus, said Todt. "It was a situation which arose, but if Formula One is to remain a sport then I think it's logical to allow those who are quickest to start in front."