Michael Schumacher may not pay much attention to statistics but Ferrari team principal Jean Todt clearly does. After Sunday's one-two at Indianapolis, he was quick to admit that "I could never believe that we could do such a season: 14 wins, eight...
Michael Schumacher may not pay much attention to statistics but Ferrari team principal Jean Todt clearly does. After Sunday's one-two at Indianapolis, he was quick to admit that "I could never believe that we could do such a season: 14 wins, eight times first and second, fourth first and second in a row, 205 points, an absolute record in the history of Formula One, Michael with 134 points after 16 races.
"I mean the numbers are unbelievable, they are hard to believe and they are true. We need to be first and second in the next race to have twice as many points as everyone else."
But there was some negative reaction among local journalists to the win after Michael Schumacher slowed fractionally as he crossed the line and victory went to Rubens Barrichello. "You know here, honestly in all fairness, I think it's sweet... for me, I can understand that," said Todt. "In Austria some people could have had a tougher understanding like thinking it's arrogant, it's typical but here, honestly, it's between us, the team. We were not penalizing anybody. In Austria you could say we were penalizing Montoya, who could have had four points, or something different. But here, I think it's a nice thing."
And he rejected the idea that the sport suffered in such instances. "Those are nice words but the situation doesn't exist in reality. We are in a sport where we have commercial interests. We just feel that in the interests of the team, of our partners, commercial, sponsors, technical, it is to win races."
Todt went on to explain that there were "no team orders, there was no need for team orders. Seriously, the only thing that was said was that after the second pit stop they should not fight any more. And there was no more fighting after the second pit stop. Michael could have won, but he wanted to have Rubens very close to him which we were very happy about, because as I said just now, we love Michael, we love Rubens, but we work for Ferrari and that's the only thing that really does matter for us.
"It was not planned. It happened like that. I was told it was seven centimeters. For us it isn't something that matters. What does matter is to have two Ferraris first and second. We can put it the way we want. That's our position.
"I think it would be very presumptious and not humble at all to say that we are controlling everything. We are not controlling everything, we try to, we do our best, but we don't want drivers to fight against each other if it is not in the interests of the company. Rubens is happy, Michael is happy, we are happy.
"It is not something that he was really looking for. It was not so intentional. He did not do anything to avoid it, but he didn't really do it on purpose. He wanted to aim close as possible. He wanted to cross the finishing line as close possible to one another. It went in Rubens's favour. It's obvious that Michael was waiting so that they would finish close together."
Overall, Todt's view was that it was a great race. "Bernie Ecclestone called me to congratulate me. He thought it was a great race. I must say today I thought it was a good race. It's very difficult because we have a few screens, we are more concentrated about what is happening with our cars, so I cannot judge as a normal spectator, which you can do much more easily. But saying that, I think it was a good race today. Coulthard had a good race, you had two different strategies, it was a big fight."