The start of the 2005 season is fast approaching and Ferrari director Jean Todt believes that with a 19 race calendar, the key will be to have a competitive car right from the start. Ferrari will begin the new season with an interim version of the...
The start of the 2005 season is fast approaching and Ferrari director Jean Todt believes that with a 19 race calendar, the key will be to have a competitive car right from the start. Ferrari will begin the new season with an interim version of the F2004 and the new car is scheduled to be introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth race in early May.
"A competitive and reliable car will be fundamental as the gap between one race and another will be very short," said Todt at Ferrari's winter event at Madonna di Campiglio. "This means that there will be very little time to modify the cars. The crucial factor will be to have a competitive package from the off."
For 2005 there are new regulations to be considered, which Todt outlined: "Compared to last year we have to take three parameters into account: the fact that the engine has to last for two Grands Prix, that there is to be only one set of tyres for qualifying and the race and the overall package of the car as the new aerodynamic guidelines generate less grip."
This year qualifying is set to take place in two sessions, one on Saturday and one on the Sunday morning before the race. Some don't think this idea will work out very well but Todt doesn't see a problem with it, although he would prefer to revert to the original format. "I don't think it is a disadvantage," he commented
"Many complained that the weekend's programme was not gripping enough, that the Sunday morning did not see any cars on the track. This is the main reason for the changes. However, as ever, it is difficult to satisfy everybody."
Now we will have a starting grid decided on the sum of the times but I personally believe that the best method is to have the qualifying session on the Saturday afternoon with a cap of twelve laps per car. The change was brought in to try to penalise Ferrari but, in the end, this solution was found. I repeat: I prefer the old system."
As for when the time comes that Michael Schumacher retires, Todt was asked whom he might choose between Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso as the champion's successor. The Ferrari boss refused to be led. "At the moment the two drivers are under contract and working for other teams," he said. "We at Ferrari always try to track down the best and, when the time is right, we will bring in best drivers."