As a Frenchman, it was a natural choice for the FIA to call Gestione Sportiva Managing Director Jean Todt to this afternoon's press conference, at the circuit where he first joined the Scuderia back in 1993. Equally natural, the first question ...
As a Frenchman, it was a natural choice for the FIA to call Gestione Sportiva Managing Director Jean Todt to this afternoon's press conference, at the circuit where he first joined the Scuderia back in 1993. Equally natural, the first question concerned Michael Schumacher's chances of winning the championship this weekend. Would the team try and ensure that the championship decision last one more race, so that the German could be crowned at his home race?
"We are not that smart!" joked Todt. "We are very pleased with the way the season has gone so far. Each race is important, but this is the first time this season that one of our drivers, Michael, is in a position where he can win the title. But I think it will be very hard to achieve. The important thing is not to lose it at the last race, but we are in a good position to do it before the end of the year."
Following recent comments from the Ferrari President, there has been media speculation that Luca di Montezemolo has said he is planning to leave the company. Would Todt like to take over as President? The Frenchman stressed that Ferrari's results were a joint effort from every member of the team and its partners. "We are almost a dream team, if you can have a dream in F1," he said, before explaining that Montezemolo never said he would leave, simply that one chapter of Ferrari's story had now come to an end after a ten year cycle. "Hopefully, we can now start another story, all together," concluded Jean Todt.
Former World Rally Champion Colin McRae recently suggested that he and Michael Schumacher should race one another in rally and F1 cars as a charity event. Asked for his views on the idea, Todt, a former World Champion Rally Co-driver reckoned the two disciplines were very different. "You need a lot of experience to drive a rally car, but I am sure both men would do a good job. And if Michael wanted to drive, I could pretend to be his co-driver!"