Shattering, dominant, grand slam, magnificent: they were all expressions used after Ferrari's one-two at Imola on Sunday, the first at what is regarded as their home circuit - and named after the founder and his son - since 1982. Jean Todt, the...
Shattering, dominant, grand slam, magnificent: they were all expressions used after Ferrari's one-two at Imola on Sunday, the first at what is regarded as their home circuit - and named after the founder and his son - since 1982.
Jean Todt, the Ferrari team's principal, was particularly pleased with the success as it was one that was scored by and also enjoyed by the whole team. "It's true, it has been GP on home ground because everyone knows that the factory isn't far from Imola, even if we don't come here testing very often, due to regulations restricting testing here. But that has allowed the whole team to be present at this success."
"It has been a weekend which started well and finished well because, as usual, we had a very good team, very good drivers and very good Bridgestone tyres."
Even so, he was cautiously pleased that rivals, such as Patrick Faure of Renault, had suggested that other teams had cars, but Ferrari's cars flew. "I appreciate such sporting comments," said Todt. "Having said that, we know that there is great rivalry out there, and that we must keep our feet on the ground. We have good cars that are almost stuck to the track."
It was a remarkable weekend and one which had suggested domination for the first time, but Todt poured cold water on that, for two reasons. "I think you have to look at the first four Grands Prix. Ferrari with Michael has now won three races out of four this season. The big difference is that for the first time this season, happily Rubens has scored his first points. For various reasons, he hasn't managed to finish since the start of the season and so this is very important."
But as ever, Todt paid tribute to the 'the whole package.' But when it came to domination, he felt that "we were in the same condition in Australia with the F2001. I think we were 1.5s quicker than the others in the race. It was the same there. But it can change next race - it changed in Malaysia."
He also paid tribute to both the driver and his car. "Let's face facts: Michael is motivated by motor sport. He's very happy at Ferrari and I don't think that he has other directions to follow today apart from continuing to be a great profession driver and an exceptional champion."
"He had a very good car which is a developmet of the F2001, the World Championship winning car from last year, which has been the subject of various improvements, whether chassis or engine and thanks to it being equipped with remarkable Bridgestone tyres."
But Todt never likes to be complacent, even confident. Like many people in racing, he knows how quickly fortunes can change. "I think I can say that I know motor sport well enough to know that things can turn around very quickly. One must be careful and humble because I know that things could change for us tomorrow and this same question could be asked of our successful rivals. So we shall continue to work as hard as possible in order to make it hard for our rivals and try and score points to win the championship."
So the work continues. "We are testing in Monza and Mugello, beginning with Luca Badoer and Luciano Burti and at the end of the week at Mugello with Michael. We shall do some tyre testing with a F2001 as well."