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Post race Q&A with Jean Todt

NEWS STORY
08/10/2006

So definitely, big disappointment, starting the race with Felipe and Michael on the first row, we were expecting a better result than the second position of Felipe. Two things that had a big influence on the final result was the breakage of the engine of Michael, which was tough, on lap 36 when Michael was leading after the last pit stop. And for Felipe, we had to stop him earlier than planned because he had a slow puncture on one of his tyres, so for safety reasons we had to stop him, and when he came out of the pit lane, he was behind a slower car which made him lose time. But saying that, that's racing. We know that to win races, to win championships, we need performance, good tyres, good team, reliability, good drivers and today we did not have good reliability and we paid the highest costs and it's our mistake and we have to assume it. The others did not do a mistake and they are in front, so there is logic.

Do we know what went wrong on the engine?
Jean Todt: No, sudden engine failure. We don't know the exact cause. I hope we can find it but I must say that the engine has been quite badly damaged, so it might be difficult to find the cause, but it's too early to know that.

Listening to Michael after the race, he felt he had conceded the championship to Fernando Alonso. Do you share that view, is there anything still to play for in Brazil?
JT: Mathematically it's still possible but logically we know it will be very difficult, it will be very difficult because… what is good is to be able to win championships when it's only left up to us. Now it's not left up to us, it's left to the problems of the others so it's a lot of parameters which will be out of our control, but saying that, we will go to the last race hopefully with the disappointment of today behind us and motivated to do the best result as possible and then we will see.

And after such a fantastic comeback this season, the incidents of today must be very difficult for you to take personally.
JT: We are in this business since so many years, so when it comes, you must be happy, when it doesn't come you must turn the page and sometime you must see the unbelievable period we have all been having, success, friendship, unique relationship and then… we are fortunate people to be able to exercise our passion, knowing some more difficult things happening in the world, so we must give a weight to each single thing.

Had there been any warning signs for Michael, a rise in temperature?
JT: No, nothing.

Had you done anything, normal settings
JT: No, nothing different.

Somebody's calculated that it's Ferrari's first race engine failure since 2000.
JT: (Laughing) So it did not come at the right time!

Your feelings after qualifying, did you feel that it was looking so good?
JT: It was looking good but we knew that between one lap in qualifying, we don't know the level of fuel of the others, a lot of parameters we didn't know but we knew we were going to probably be quicker in qualifying. Saying that, for the race we had a pace which was good enough to secure what we wanted, unless a problem occurred, which did occur.

Do you know what the cause of Felipe's puncture was?
JT: He had a cut in the tyre but right from the beginning, but slowly and slowly he was losing air in the tyre until we decided to anticipate the pit stop.

Does the result from today change any approach to Brazil? Do you still go there as aggressively as you would have done?
JT: We will try our best.

Is Michael still testing in Jerez this week?
JT: I must say I did not ask the question so I cannot answer for sure. Concerning the testing in Jerez, with whom? We will inform you.

That's quite a big development that you're testing in Jerez, in terms of aerodyanamics?
JT: There are a few things, but not major things.

At a time like this, when you realise what a leader Michael is, what will be his legacy?
JT: Can we leave this question for after Brazil? OK, because at the moment, he's still driving one more race and then we can speak about Michael and what we will miss. We can leave that for the race.

Maybe something about his qualities, what makes him such a great driver?
JT: He's a fantastic human person, clever, dedicated, team player, good father, good friend, good husband - that's what Corinna says.

What about the work that he's done for Ferrari?
JT: I think it has been a very good combination. Ferrari has done a fantastic job for him, and he has done a fantastic job for Ferrari, so that's a wonderful combination. It is never one way, it always both ways. If things are successful, it means that it goes in both directions. Otherwise it doesn't work.

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