Jean Todt: reliability problems will be resolved 

Written by David on July 24th, 2007 at 5:45 pmLast Update: July 24th, 2007 at 6:05 pm

Jean Todt Ferrari’s Formula One Team General ManagerFerrari’s F1 Team general manager, Jean Todt, assures that there’ll be no change to the team’s approach for the final seven races of this season’s championship, after Sunday’s Massa’s 2nd place in the European Grand Prix at Nurburgring.

“I don’t think it changes anything,” said Todt, after Massa’s second place behind Alonso’s McLaren. “I don’t think we can say that we have made an easy approach to all the races since the beginning of the championship. So we will keep trying to do the same job, we will try to improve the performance of the car and of course, try to resolve reliability problems when we know where to put the effort.”

In regard to Raikkonen’s mechanical problem that stopped him on Sunday’s race, Todt stated: “We definitely had a reliability problem. As I said before, we have to analyze what has happened. It was a hydraulic problem on Kimi’s car and it stopped the car. It’s definitely unfortunate but it’s our responsibility. We think that we had this kind of problem during Magny Cours free practice.” But Jean Todt still believes that Kimi is in the fight for the championship. “There are still seven races to go. You saw at Nurburgring that Hamilton did not score points, so immediately you can see the difference. Kimi is 18 points behind the leader and there are seven races to go and we have the potential to win every race, so if we are able to do a good job, everything it’s still possible.”

Todt emphasized that it was Kimi’s decision not to pit for wet tires on the first lap of the rain-affected race. This lost him the lead to teammate Massa. “We asked both drivers to come into the pits and only Felipe came in. Kimi remained on the track. It was his choice.” Todt also commented on Massa and Alonso’s performance on wet tires; the Brazilian said he had suffered vibration which allowed Alonso to close up. “I would never allow myself to blame Alonso. He hasn’t been World Champion by chance. He did a great race, tough overtaking and he’s a great winner. Saying that, as I said before, in the wet, during the first part of the race, Felipe, even with more fuel in the car, managed to take a six second lead.”

Todt said that he never thought about the irony of Michael Schumacher presenting the Constructors’ prize to rival team McLaren’s Ron Dennis on the podium. “Honestly, I would have preferred that he gave it to a Ferrari team member, but he was asked by the organisers to give the trophy to the winning manufacturer so he did so. But my heart had more pain when Kimi stopped because of his hydraulic problem and when Felipe lost the lead after a fantastic race a few laps before the end.” Finally, Todt summarized Ferrari’s ongoing legal action against former employee Nigel Stepney and McLaren’s chief designer Mike Coughlan. “We have a penal case ongoing in Italy against Nigel Stepney and we have a civil case in UK against Mike Coughlan.

“There is one hearing organized by the FIA on the 26th of July. At this stage, as I said two weeks ago, we cannot comment on it. Unfortunately it has been leaked too much in the press over the last days but it’s out of our control. The more people who are aware, the more opportunity you have to have leaks. We just have to follow the procedures which are in process.” But Todt did explain that Ferrari would be represented. However, he didn’t confirm whether they would be offering evidence against McLaren, but closed by saying that “we may comment after the hearing.”

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