The University of Florence has conferred on Ferrari's General Director of the Gestione Sportiva, Jean Todt, an honorary degree in mechanical engineering. Todt accepted the academic title, awarded for 'the work done in the development of advanced...
The University of Florence has conferred on Ferrari's General Director of the Gestione Sportiva, Jean Todt, an honorary degree in mechanical engineering.
Todt accepted the academic title, awarded for 'the work done in the development of advanced technology in the sports automobile sector conducted with the contribution of university-industry research collaborations.' The ceremony formed part of the celebrations to mark the 80th year of the Florentine academy's founding. Augusto Martinelli, the rector, was on hand to bestow the degree. He underlined how important the link between Ferrari and the faculty of engineering at Florence University was, considering how many ex-students went on to work at the Maranello headquarters.
"I am the third in the Ferrari-Maserati group to receive such an honour," stated Jean Todt during his talk. "I follow in the footsteps of President Montezemolo, who was recognised by the University of Modena, and Ross Brawn, who was awarded his degree by the University of Ancona."
"Motor-racing has always been my great love. Ever since I was a boy, my dream has been to be a part of motor-racing. I began with rallying and then moved onto Formula 1, with Ferrari, in 1993. For me, Ferrari has always been mythical. Many people believed that I would not have lasted long, that it would have been even harder for a foreigner. I, myself, would not have said that I would have been here so long, but, on the contrary, I am still here almost eleven years later."
"The success of a team or an athlete, whatever the sport, is indisputable: the result speaks for itself. Among the tasks of a manager is the ability to deal with defeat but also with victories. Right from the beginning it is important to learn the lessons of the first and to learn to come back from defeat; from the second, the motivation has to be found to repeat a victory," reflected Todt. "At Ferrari we have worked very hard to achieve our success."
"For three consecutive years between 1997 to 1999, victory in the Drivers' championships eluded us at the very last moment while the Constructors' title arrived in 1999, after a drought dating back to 1983. 2000 was the turning point, followed by success in 2001, 2002 and 2003. We don't want to stop here. The laws of sport state that it is impossible to always win and we are prepared for defeat."
"However, we will do all that we can to extend what can be defined as 'the Ferrari era'. We have been at the top of Formula 1 since 1997 and we intend to stay there for as long as possible. When I arrived at Ferrari in 1993, I began to plan a project that had numerous objectives: gather all the activities related to Formula 1 under one roof at Maranello; set up cutting edge facilities; seek out the very best staff for all positions; find the economic resources necessary to reach our goals and to select top grade partners."
"Then, there is the ingredient that no successful manager can create without the contribution of others: team spirit. I think that my main job is exactly that of funnelling everyone's energy in the same direction because a ship sailing into an opposing wind will not go anywhere, or even slip backwards."