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Ferrari's post Japan GP press conference

NEWS STORY
30/09/2007

Can you both clarify the events which led to both cars having to pit at the start of the race?
Jean Todt: I will let Stefano go into more detail, but we simply didn't have the information. I remember talking a few minutes before the start with Hamashima, with the technical direction of Bridgestone, suggesting that he thought that was a more appropriate tyres to start the race. It was a big surprise, it was even a shock to have this information. I was saying in Italian earlier, it was very easy to give the information on the monitor, as happened very often when there is information that is so information, and when they said to us that the information was given, when Stefano checked on his e-mail, it arrived at 13.37 and you have the document here? So just for the clarity. Unfortunately, it was too late to put on the full wet tyres.

Stefano Domenicali: I just wanted to add one thing, that for sure the habit of using the e-mail within the teams and race control is done by the normal documentations, like information on the classification, on the event or something like that. But normally when there is some information that is very sensitive, related to the running - in this case, of the race - this information should be circulated as is written on the sporting regulation article 15.1 with the receipt that has to be acknowledged by the team. This is something that is there, but in any case I think that for sure, you can imagine that it would have been very stupid knowing that and doing the opposite. We didn't know and that's it and it was not possible to take a decision like that. To go on a certain tyre, as Mr Todt said, was a decision done from the strategic point of view, of course.

Having said that, Stefano, you won in Malaysia back in '01 doing the same thing, starting on the intermediate. Is it not fair to say that, if there is a safety car, you generally think that you probably won't need the extreme wet because the race won't start until the track is in better condition?
SD: That's a consideration from the strategic point of view that for sure teams can do, and this is the reason why maybe we took that direction. If you look at behind the safety, also in Nurburgring you had drivers with normal wet tyres that started and of course this was new and once again, we didn't know.

Did anybody from the FIA that the three minutes lying on the grid already that you were on the wrong tyres?
SD: No.

JT: Maybe you can explain after the race when you went to meet the stewards how they commented on this incident.

SD: Very briefly, of course we went straightaway at the end of the race just to understand what had happened. They understood our point and in a way that's a note that has to come from the stewards as you know and basically they were apologising for the fact that they used the usual system of using the e-mail for normal communication also for this thing and that's what they said.

Jean, were you radioed to come into the pits or did they use the black and orange flag?
SD: As is written on the note, the need for the black and orange flag was in case the driver was continuing to drive in that condition but we called the guys in before.

Stefano, does this e-mail information come together to every team at the same time? And some other teams received that at the right time? What could have happened? And the second question is that Massa spun on the second or third lap. Don't you think that they would have had to stop and change tyres because it was too slippery for your drivers?
SD: Given the answer to the first question is once again, I think that with this kind of information we should know through official channels that are page three (on the monitor) or that we take notification by writing that we acknowledge that. In any case you are sure that you are sending the message at the same time but you are not sure at one time the message is received because we have different systems with different channels and through different controls, firewalls and so on so you are definitely sure what time it arrives but not what time you will receive it.

JT: Let me add something. Before the start of the race, there was a very small drizzle which helped us to make the decision to take these tyres and once the start happened, then the rain got much more intense so definitely, if we would have the choice, knowing that rain would increase as it did, it would probably have been very different. But we made the choice before the start of the race, from what we saw, and as I said earlier, if we would have been informed about the no choice for tyres, then it would have been easier for us.

At the end, you were ready to call them in any way, with or without this problem with the e-mail?
JT: No, we were not ready to call them, but I was explaining why we decided on this choice.

Jean, basically it was an error on the part of the governing body so is there a mechanism where you can make an official complaint or whatever, or you just accept their apologies?
JT: We unfortunately can only accept that it came too late and probably the communication should have been... not probably , surely the communication should have been different.

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