Todt rues lost opportunity

A dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix saw both Ferraris retire at Interlagos on Sunday in a race of attrition in conditions that were at time atrocious. As far as Ferrari's team principal Jean Todt was concerned, it was tough day both on and off the ...

A dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix saw both Ferraris retire at Interlagos on Sunday in a race of attrition in conditions that were at time atrocious. As far as Ferrari's team principal Jean Todt was concerned, it was tough day both on and off the track, which saw part of Ferrari's tactics nullified.

Todt pointed out that "today, clearly, we were the quickest on the track, but unfortunately the final result was zero points." But he was also philosophical. "As I said in Malaysia it's a tough game. We just have to accept that and move forwards. I think on one side it's easier to be a good player when you have the right package. I think it's probably more frustrating when you're three seconds and you wonder how you are going to get it back. But saying that, we love our job, we are motivated but we love winning. Today we lost a good opportunity."

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect was that Rubens Barrichello was leading when his engine suddenly cut out. "He had a fuel system problem," explained Todt. "We lost the telemetry right from the beginning and then we had some misfiring with the engine. Then it came back again but we didn't have the thing completely under control. Our data was OK, but we weren't aware about what was exactly the fuel problem in the system and we still don't know yet. We're going to analyse it when we are back at the factory."

Todt was very disappointed that other teams were allowed to change front and rear wing settings for wet conditions prior to the race, as Michael Schumacher had taken a gamble with his wing settings which affected his qualifying performance. It was just one aspect of the new rules that upset Todt. "Yesterday Michael knew that he was taking a chance," said Todt, "taking into account the weather prediction and clearly, on one side, I feel that some competitors did change the engine for good reasons, because they had evidence and it's clear on that. Some may be happy, but that was something completely against the new rules."

However, after all the accidents in the race, Todt admitted that the new rules, which allowed only one wet tyre, had to be revised. "I simply feel that we should go back to last year's rules where the teams were allowed to have two wet tyre specifications. To be condemned to use only one wet tyre is not good but it was voted -- not unanimously as some people said -- but it was voted through the Formula One Commission which I feel was a big mistake. We were completely against that. Unfortunately the tendency was in favour of one specification of tyre and I think we saw the problems with that today."

Todt admitted that it will be important to bounce back at Imola. "Is it important, but you know it was important here, more particularly when we know that our main competitor so far is scoring a lot of points." Todt wouldn't confirm that Ferrari will be using two of the new F2003-GAs at Imola, but said "hopefully we will have two. Normally we will have two unless the testing next week (at Mugello and Fiorano) goes completely against what we feel. It's not yet sure."

-ferrari-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari