Site logo

Todt on tyres, the Spanish GP, BAR and Monaco

NEWS STORY
09/05/2005

At the end of another difficult Grand Prix weekend, in which, having started from the back of the grid, Rubens Barrichello was only able to finish ninth, and Michael Schumacher retired after two punctures, Ferrari team boss, Jean Todt, sat down to answer a few questions.

First off he mentioned Michael's retirement.

"We know that Michael, on lap 44, came in to change the rear tyre because he had a slow puncture and then the same happened on lap 46 with the front left. The reason why, we don't know yet. It's either a problem of construction or something he picked up off the track.

Asked whether the German was on a one or two stop strategy, the Frenchman replied: "He stopped late the first time and as for the second time we will never know, unfortunately. We didn't achieve the plan… however, for sure, he was not on three stops.

Rubens Barrichello finished the race, which clearly shows that his tyres were OK to finish the race distance. "They were OK," says Todt, "but the speed of the race was different for each driver. However, we knew that with Rubens the only chance with him starting so far back was to start him with heavy fuel.

Sticking to the subject of tyres, Todt is asked if he would like to see another 'top' team running on Bridgestones. "We would have nothing against it, It would definitely help in testing," he replies.

"We are alone fighting with Bridgestone tyres," he continues. "As I have said, Bridgestone is a great partner, great, because we've won more than anybody else, with them. But if we have the slightest problem, which is the case at the moment, we end up with eight cars in front of us. But do I complain? No, we know this, but we wanted this situation."

Does this mean that Ferrari might 'encourage' Red Bull to switch in 2006, when the Austrian team starts using its engines? "Let's finish this year," he replies, the merest hint of a smile on his face, "then we will see."

Asked how difficult it is that Ferrari's competitors are all on the same tyre, he responds: "It all depends on how many very strong teams you have, and it seems that there are mainly two who are very strong."

Looking back to the Grand Prix, was he surprised by the sheer pace of Raikkonen's McLaren? "It was the same pace we saw at Imola when Raikkonen was in front, and then definitely Alonso was struggling for a while."

Of all the problem areas in which Ferrari has to improve, which, in his consideration, are the most important ones? "I would say mainly the first lap," he says, without any hesitation, "it puts us in a difficult and critical situation.

"It's so much easier when you start… you can see what happens in the beginning. If you start in front you remain in front. We have to make a lot of changes to try to improve the situation, which does help us for the race.

"Durability we are quite good up to a certain point, but we have to analyse what happened. We had an engine problem on Rubens' car, which completely compromised his race, even if it wasn't fundamental new parts on this part of the engine. I would say unfortunately it's things that normally happen, because we have been so successful without having any failures and then suddenly they come. It's under our control, it's up to us, we have to work better."

Without the problems, Michael was probably going to finish second or third today: "I don't want to guess," says Todt. "The only thing I know is that he was heavier than the others, which allowed him to be third when he retired. Unless a specific problem arose, he would have been fighting to improve the situation. Whether he would have done so or not, I don't know."

It appears that the performance of the Ferrari very much depends on the nature of the circuit, is that also something that the team has to resolve, to be competitive on all types of circuit?

"We were very competitive in Bahrain until we were in the race," he says. "At Imola we were very competitive but we started too far back. Here, today, we were very competitive until we had a problem, and we started too far back. It's what I said. We are competitive, but at the moment we don't score points, which is no good. It's better not to be competitive and score maximum points, but that wouldn't happen either."

Asked if this is going to be the toughest championship to win since Ferrari's current domination began, he smiles: "Tougher than last year, that's for sure!"

Michael clearly hasn't given up on the championship, but has Todt? "It's getting more difficult," he admits. "Every race where the others score six, eight, ten points more than you it makes it more difficult. But it's a long championship, there are 14 races to go."

Looking ahead to Monaco, what are the preparations? "The 'Monte Carlo package'," he replies, "because there are always some specific things on the car, and we try to define the best tyre construction and compound for Monte Carlo which is a very specific circuit, in order to start further up."

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

READERS COMMENTS

 

Sorry, comments are disabled for this article

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms