"You always feel stronger for at least ten days, until the next Grand Prix, if you finish first and second," said Jean Todt after Sunday's dominating one-two by Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa in the US Grand Prix ...
"You always feel stronger for at least ten days, until the next Grand Prix, if you finish first and second," said Jean Todt after Sunday's dominating one-two by Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa in the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis.
"And then, if you look at the World Championship classifications, you wish you felt stronger, because we are still far behind in the manufacturers' and drivers' championship. At the moment, we are not the ones to feel stronger but we will do everything we can to improve the situation."
Later, however, Todt admitted that the euphoria probably lasts even less than ten days. "Honestly, it makes it easier for the flight home. It's good, you have a good feeling, but tomorrow we will start again."
Sunday's victory marked a successful conclusion to the North American pair of races, two races that they hoped they could win. Asked why it had gone well in Indianapolis, but not in Montreal the previous weekend, and whether it had been down to the tyres provided by Bridgestone to Ferrari and Michelins to their rivals, Todt replied "a combination, combination. In Montreal maybe we did not take the best strategy and we did not make the best job. That's all."
Had Michelin brought tyres that were too conservative, following last year's debacle when their teams had to withdraw over safety concerns? "Honestly, I don't know if they came conservative or not," said Todt. "But I have always commented that if you want to win a race, you need to have everything put together and we managed to have everything put together which gave the final result. If we manage to put everything together as well in some of the next races we can pretend to do the same result. If we don't do it, as has happened unfortunately too often this season, we cannot pretend to make a strong result. It's up to us."
But overall, Todt was delighted. "We are very pleased with the result. We haven't found ourselves in such a strong situation from the beginning of the weekend for a long time and we saw immediately that we were strong compared to the others.
"Yesterday, once we saw that we had the two Ferraris on the front row, we still had a few question marks, mainly over reliability and degradation of the tyres. We were reliable, which was important because it was the second race with the engine and the Bridgestone tyres were fantastic. You can see the overall result and if you see the quickest lap time during the race, you can see how strong the Bridgestones were this weekend."
It marked a reversal of fortune for Michael Schumacher, said Todt. "So often this year he lost those points against him so this time it turned out right for us. Now it all depends on what we do and what the others do. Today, we got six points back. If we could just do the same, if he's able to drive like he did today in the next races but I don't think it will be so easy."
Todt was particularly complimentary of Felipe Massa, who led the early stages. "Felipe is a great guy. He has a good spirit, he's a team player, he's humble, he's shy - probably too humble and too shy in this business, because he's not rated as he should be. But the most important thing is that he's rated by Ferrari. He's never advertising himself.
"But very often I'm amazed to see that Felipe is not rated as he should be. Sometimes it makes me smile when I see the (press) marks which are published on Monday. Very often, in my opinion, trying to be really fair, he's given two or three or four marks less than he should be. That shows that the people who are judging are probably not the best judges, that's all.
"He has the strongest teammate to compete with. I must say they get on very well, because Michael respects Felipe a lot, and of course Felipe respects and admires Michael so on that subject we have fantastic harmony in the team."
Finally, asked if Felipe and Michael were free to race one another in the US Grand Prix, given the championship standings, Todt said "they work for Ferrari. We are paid by Ferrari. Felipe did a fantastic race, Michael did a fantastic race. It's our job. Our job is try to deliver the best for the company, so we try our best."