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Todt Explains Ferrari's Position on USGP Controversy

Discussion in 'F1' started by Nick R, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Nick R

    Nick R Formula Junior

    Jan 15, 2004
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    http://www.speedtv.com/articles/auto/formulaone/17762/

    Great explaination by Todt


    Michelin teams have implicitly blamed Ferrari for preventing a solution that could have avoided the chaos at last weekend’s USGP at Indianapolis, for being the only team not to sign off on their plan for a chicane to be installed at Turn 13 to reduce the stress on the tires at that corner. However, Ferrari director Jean Todt rejects that conclusion, and suggested his team would have encountered no sympathy had the shoe been on the other foot for his Bridgestone-shod cars.

    “I feel sorry about what happened,” said Todt of the situation which led to the 14 Michelin runners peeling off into the pits at the end of the parade lap, taking no further part in the race. “I mainly feel sorry for all the supporters who were here, for the American supporters, for the TV viewers, but it was not our decision.”

    Todt admitted that F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone had talked to him about “different proposals, including a chicane, but again, it’s a matter of the FIA, it’s not a matter of the commercial rights holder.

    “Number one, it’s an FIA decision. Number two, if something happened on the other side; if, for example, we [Bridgestone runners] don’t have enough grip for qualifying and we ask for three laps because we have good grip after the third lap, or if we ask for a chicane because we feel it would be safer for our tires, I think everybody would laugh at us. So you just have to be prepared to react to a situation.

    “You have two sets of tires which you chose from, one normally is soft, the other one is hard and then you make your choice. I feel sorry for those who could not compete, but I feel more sorry, again, for the supporters.”

    Todt offered his view of what the disadvantages would have been of the sudden installation of a chicane: “If we knew beforehand that there would be a chicane, we would have come prepared for a chicane. We would come with different tires, we would have a different setup on the car, we would have different gear ratios.

    “Honestly, why should we compromise? We try to do a good job with Bridgestone, and we did not do a very good job with Bridgestone since the beginning of the year. We arrive, we are in a situation where we see from Friday that we are competitive, we don’t have any problem with tires, so for us it’s an opportunity.”

    As to the question of running the race as a non-points event if a chicane was installed, to get around rules prohibiting such a change, Todt again said firmly that this idea was a non-starter for Ferrari.

    “Would we have competed for no points? I say no. If this race would have been a race without points which cannot be, it would have been out of the FIA standard, we would not have started.”

    Asked what sort of harm the boycott had done the image of Formula 1, Todt replied, “Very bad. I wish we could come back to the States because it’s a very important country, it’s now our number one market, the States, and for so many years Bernie has tried to implement something in the States. Unfortunately, it was not the best demonstration today. It has been a hard hit for Formula 1 today.”

    Todt added that the teams had been warned about pushing the tire situation to the limit. “We all got a letter two weeks ago warning us after the Monte Carlo race and after Nurburgring when [Kimi] Raikkonen had his problem, that we had to pay special attention to the tires, the pressures, about all that, and it’s something we thought could happen for a while.”

    Asked under what circumstances he would have been willing to compromise with the Michelin runners for the Indianapolis race, Todt said, “I would say three options. One, they could have changed their tires. Two, they would have to compromise in this specific corner. And three, they could have used the pit lane. If these cars cannot take this corner, what can I do? You would have had a race.”
     
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  3. nugget

    nugget Karting

    Jan 4, 2004
    86
    I totally agree with what he is saying, not just because I am a Ferrari fan but because it is correct. I also support Bernie in his decision too. If the shoe was on the other foot noone would have said a word. As we all know, the shoe has been on the other foot the entire season for Ferrari. Several times this year we have seen Ferrari's come into the pits because their tires were deemed unsafe to drive since they were wearing out too quick. Would Michelin have accepted it if Ferrari in Malaysia or Bahrain said, "Hey, our tires aren't good in this heat with these stress loading so can we change the course to help us out." I was at the race and upset to see the 14 cars go in but even that very night downtown talking it over with family I said it was the right decision not to compromise the rules and put in a chicane.
     
  4. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
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    An attempt at saving face, and a good one, but he's incorrect.

    First all, if the shoe was on the other foot when the Bridgestone tires were having problems earlier this season, Ferrari is one team out of how many?

    Good, now that we've cleared that up, put yourself in the position of FIA management. You're faced with one team or seven teams having problems. Which would you like to screw over? Ferrari would get the short end of the stick so that argument carries ZERO weight.

    As for the so called compromises proposed by Todt, use your common sense.

    Option one, change their tires. Thats a brilliant idea considering both types of tires (hard and soft compound) have the same problem. 14 cars pitting after 5-10 laps sounds like a fairly dangerous prospect doesn't it?

    Option two, slow down on turn 13. Do you know how difficult it is to weave through the potential of 14 cars in a mile and a half stretch on a 2 lane road going 75mph with merging and exiting? What about at 100mph or even 150mph? Even for professionals, this is extremely dangerous. Why not just drive with the tires patched? Don't organized/sanctioned top speed runs in Nevada use whatever tires are lying about?

    Option three, use the pit lane. Pit lane speeds are limited aren't they? There's nothing like working on changing tires and adding fuel on the side lines of a straight away, I mean, pit lane.

    In case it hasn't been made clear yet, the other Bridgestone teams agreed to a chicane except Ferrari. Todt deserves credit for doing what is necessary for his team but not for the sport. When you are the only team to not sign off on a compromise agreed to by on site FIA management and the other teams, the profanity filter would block what I have to say about Ferrari.

    While everyone was in a meeting, how much do you want to bet that Todt was on the phone with Mosley instead of attending the meeting with Bernie, team principals, Michelin representatives, track engineers, and on-site track management?

    I raise my hand with the index and middle finger in a V, a sign for Todt's victory. If you're British, it means something else.

    Sunny
     
  5. moretti

    moretti Four Time F1 World Champ
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    you're dead wrong !!!

    Michelin were the only problem and to try and drag Ferrari into this fiasco is criminally stupid , you've been reading the English press again, they have a Ferrari phobia that borders on insane jealousy from wanking themselves so much it sh!ts me....

    Was it wrong what happened...yes

    Was it Ferrari's fault ..... no

    Can a track be changed to suit some teams equipment problems .... yes

    Can it be homologated in time ...no

    I believe nothing of what Stoddart said , he's a weasel after Max's job and is playing both sides of the fence

    Who said Jordan agreed to a chicane when they had a good chance of some points ?

    As a sideline let's see how Michelin tyres fair after this debacle, I'll bet they fall behind again and the conspiracy theories from the garagisti pop up again
     
  6. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

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    Dead wrong?

    Ok, lets let the decisions of the few decide things for the many. Thats great for your team but bad not so good for the sport, but thats understandable.

    To say that we wouldn't receive equal consideration, well DUH!

    If Todt was in the meeting with everyone else instead of sucking Max's dick, maybe the non-Bridgestone team (s) had a valid point.

    If anything, this just proved that F1 without the other teams would be a joke.

    Drink some coffee (wake up), please!

    Sunny
     
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  8. Strasse

    Strasse Formula Junior

    Apr 12, 2004
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    Funny how quickly some forget that these new tyre restrictions were part of the many changes installed by the FIA to hurt Ferrari's dominance. And now that these changes have made a mockery of Formula One, we've got a whole new breed of whiners.

    It was tough **** for the Bridgestone teams up until two weeks ago. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, all hell's broken loose. I should hope that not a single person at Ferrari ever bends over backwards to accomodate the inadequacies of the competition. But anyone that thinks that Ferrari is colluding with the FIA to make life harder for the other teams is conveniently ignoring the FIA's efforts to topple Ferrari from its six year throne.

    The coffee's done, mate.
     
  9. gil308

    gil308 Formula 3

    Jun 22, 2004
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    Are you serious? Why does it matter that Ferrari is only 1 team out of 10? They were prepared to race. 7 other teams were not. If the Bridgestones had the problems, the 3 teams would not race, but the race would continue with the other 7. Agreed, the race was a poor showing. But WHY should any team compromise because a supplier screwed up. This is not a matter of Ferrari getting their way...it was a race and the teams ready to race did. It's unheard of that a track should change the configuration because a TIRE SUPPLIER goofed. It doesn't matter how many teams were affected. Ferrari had tire problems all year...what's the difference?Because they are only 1 out of 10? That's rediculous...this is a sport. In any other sport, if a team cannot play, they forfit and the other team scores a win. This Race was a little different in that there were 2 other teams in addition to Ferrari that could race.

    This goes beyond you not being a fan of Ferrari F1...this is you trying to make the same excuses as Michelin. Do you work for Michelin? A race is a race, regardless if 1 team is affected or 7. If you don't come prepared, it's not the other team's fault.

    Think of basketball: Let's say Shaq is the only guy on the Miami Heat who can legitimately dunk the ball each time. Now he get's hurt and cannot play. By your argument, the Miami Heat should suggest to the NBA that for the games Shaq is out, the net should be lowered to allow the remaining Heat players to dunk the ball and ALL other teams should agree because it evens the playing field.

    You're reasoning is quite flawed.
     
  10. racerx3317

    racerx3317 F1 Veteran

    Oct 17, 2004
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    Unfortunately this situation was partially created by Ferrari and their almost exclusive tire deal with bridgestone. They forced most of the top teams to use michelins so they could have a tire that favored thier car and now michelin shod teams have gained power because of sheer numbers. Ferrari while basically blameless for the FNone race at indy, do bear some of the responsiblity for creating the situation in the first place.
     
  11. gil308

    gil308 Formula 3

    Jun 22, 2004
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    That's crazy! This problem goes directly to the FIA rule of 1 set of tires per race. And why the rules change...to stop Ferrari dominance. 2 other teams use Bridgestone and all other teams could as well. The rules change created a problem for Bridgestone, too, for the first part of the season. Now Michelin is having a problem. But Michelin flat out goofed. They realized their mistake, corrected the problem and SENT NEW TIRES that would work fine to Indy...but per the new rules, teams could not use the new tires. MICHELIN's error plain and simple.
     
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  13. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

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    Are YOU serious? Why does it matter if Ferrari had tire problems when nine other teams didn't? The nine other teams were prepared to race. If those nine other teams were not prepared to race (ok, in this example, seven teams), there is a difference. Todt saw fit to mention that as if his team deserves any special consideration out of a field of ten. When you have GROUPS OF TEAMS its different. If you can't see that, I will not respond further to your posts in this thread.

    Since most of the crowd were Ferrari fans anyway, there's really no harm in it. After all, I would love to take bets at the horse racing track and have 3/4 of the field drop out.

    I don't follow any team. I'm not a die hard or fan of Ferrari F1 but I'm neither for the other teams. I want to see excellent racing. I didn't give a rats about Jaguar/Red Bull at all but they were an underdog I shared more in common with, nothing more. Tell me something, do you only tune into F1 or another sport only when your favorite is playing? Do you watch the LPGA, watch featherweight as well as heavyweight fights, college football in addition to NFL?

    Ok, lets take your basketball example. If the hoop isn't lowered, the game can still be played. If 3/4 of the NBA teams think that the hoop should be lowered, than what?

    The tires were not going to work without a compromise to safety. If you don't believe that, this discussion is over.

    Your reasoning is the one that is quite flawed.

    Cheers,
    Sunny
     
  14. moretti

    moretti Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Nov 1, 2003
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    I can see your point but it's a big stretch. If Maclaren and Williams used Bridgestone you'd find they have just as much clout as Ferrari in demanding tyres that worked for them, Minardi and Jordan are minnows that just take the hand-me-downs so it is not Ferrari that created the situation but the others hoping that Bridgestone would have the problem they have experienced all season with qualifying
     
  15. gil308

    gil308 Formula 3

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    I would be very sad if you stopped responding. It's obvious the tires would not work and it was a safety issue. Nobody EVER argued otherwise. So, I don't understand why you said that; and I don't fault the teams for not racing. I fault those who blame the teams that were prepared to race.

    I watch PGA golf, NFL, NBA, NFL, and used to watch NHL. I'm not a fan of college or minor league. I'm a Miami Dolphins fan and a Detroit Tigers fan...so I don't follow just the winning teams or the best players. I enjoy sport. F1 is a sport, but Indy was a travesty. No arguement. But it's not Ferrari, Jordan or Minardis fault that Michelin blew it. It's Michelin's fault.

    I would actually welome your not posting anymore because I feel you make arguments and don't like opposing views. I think your posts are ludicrous, but I respect that you have your own opinions. If you don't want to read others opinions, create your own chat room and "listen to yourself talk". This is an open forum and we all have opinions. You are welcome to yours and need to be prepared to hear what people have to say. Again, I think your posts are rediculous...but that's not a personal attack. You very well may be an articulate intelligent person. I'm not saying you are rediculous, just your opinions in this post. And like you, I am entitled to my opinions. And I don't take offense that you don't like what I have to say.

    So, keep posting or don't. Either way, my life will go on and I guarantee you won't be able to change my mind with the logic you have in your previous posts.

    And you know what...I would love it if Ferrari wins the World Championship again. I hope the races are more interesting, though.
     
  16. gil308

    gil308 Formula 3

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    and another thing...I would love the other teams to boycott F1 leaving only the 3 Bridgestone teams to race for the rest of the year...why? To stick it up the #ss of the FIA for trying to thwart Ferrari with all the rule changes. While Indy was Michelin's fault alone...I do think that the FIA rule changes ruined F1 this year.
     
  17. moretti

    moretti Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I think Imperial and I would be the only ones watching the rest of the races from start to finish if that happened :D

    I love a walkover :D

    the reality will be that the teams will get a slap on the wrist fine of about a mill each and normal transmission will resume with Ferrari back at the front as Michelin are again forced to produce a tyre that is safe and within the guidelines like they had to a couple of years ago.
     
  18. racerx3317

    racerx3317 F1 Veteran

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    It is a stretch, but it seems by trying to screw everyone else they got it in the end. This is what some people miss, they wanted an exclusive deal and got it. The way the deal with Bridgstone and Ferrari was made it left no room to supply another top team, Mclaren had to do a last second deal with Michelin as a matter of fact. Now Michelin supplys most of the field which means they hold most of the cards, as was seen at Indy. No one, not a manufacturer, nor tire supplier, engine manufactuer, etc should have that much power in F1. Michelin can now singlehandedly kill F1 as we know it if they wanted to.
     
  19. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    I agree with Sunny.

    Todt yet again showed a complete lack of sportsmanship.

    Todt did not even attend any meetings and was not prepared to listen ... why?, not just because Ferrari were right, but because he could smell 18 points.

    Win at all costs should and does have boundaries for most people ... heck even I would have bulked at racing, just made MS and RB look like fools.

    I would have applauded Ferrari if they agreed to consider the race null-in-void. Real men like to beat worthy opposition ... Todt appears to like to bash a man when he is down. Is that something (if you were Ferrari) that you'd like as your company image?

    Pete
    ps: And yes they were technically in the right ... but think of the bigger picture. Ferrari have showed that they would use anything to win ... and fnck the sport and crowd in the process. That is just as bad as Michelin using the USGP as a political protest in the first place.
     
  20. rfking

    rfking Formula Junior

    Nov 16, 2003
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    OK guys - a very thoughtful analysis from the fans' standpoint - but the sport is as much about money as it is fan support.

    Ferrari may sound like a monster company with tons of backing from FIAT, etc. but in reality, FIAT is less than interested in Ferrari at this point - unless they can make a buck from it, and Ferrari must rely on sponsorship and commercial rights for virtually all its budget.

    Compare this with the true manufacturer's teams, such as Toyota and Renault - their F1 budget is a fraction of their disposable income.

    Compare most of the other "independent teams - McClaren - supported by Mercedes - and Williams - supported (at least in the past) by BMW - these are truly giant manufacturers who make the profits from Ferrari's 3000 - 4000 cars it produces a year insignificant in all respects.

    For Ferrari to contue to prosper, it has no choice but to win. It fights the FIA silly anti-Ferrari rules, and figures it isn't fair for it not to profit from the serious Michelin fiasco in one of nineteen races this year. Give them a break. They are not all powerful or endowed with an unlimited budget. At least not with the depth of the Michelin teams. If they ever start to seriously be out of the points, they are lost forever with the current state of technology.

    I haven't heard that a Ferrari sponsor is threatening to withdraw support because the Michelin teams were caught flatfooted this past weekend. Let's be realistic - the sport will only prosper as long as there is is financial support - so let's just be patient and see what next week, and the rest of the year for that matter, brings.
     
  21. gil308

    gil308 Formula 3

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    Amen...racerx, you're turn.
     
  22. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Hmmm, Ferrari F1 team has plenty of money ... I didn't think that they needed FIAT's money anymore (?).

    And also ... I think Ferrari lost more sales than gained by being unsporting to their opposition. I think people that buy cars can think and most are on the spectators side, as that is what most Ferrari road car buyers are ... F1 spectators.

    Pete
     
  23. gil308

    gil308 Formula 3

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    I highly doubt Ferrari sales will be affected by Indy. You really think someone who wanted a Ferrari is now going to say "what a travesty...I can't believe what they did at Indy. That's it, I'm buying a Lambo"...very doubtful.
     
  24. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

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    JAGXJ6;

    If Ferrari had asked for some special favor (similar to Michelin's request at the USGP) to compensate for the fact that the Bridgestones take much longer to settle in than the Michelins, do you think the Michelin teams would have agreed?

    Get real.

    Todt's assessment is absolutely correct. No one should have had to change their program, their set up, to compensate for another competitor's lack of preparation.
     
  25. gil308

    gil308 Formula 3

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    Don't waste your breathe. I tried that and his response was Ferrari is just 1 team out of 10, so they basically have no right to complain about anything because if Ferrari doesn't race...no loss. But if the Michelin's don't race, it's Indy all over again. My response...whatever!
     
  26. Turb0flat4

    Turb0flat4 Formula 3

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    Jean Todt is very right. A boss does best by his team, and he did well. I respect his decision and his comments.
     
  27. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    People have made stranger purchasing decisions ;)

    Anyway, each to their own but I've never been impressed with Todt's lack of sportsmanship. I admire what he has done to Ferrari F1, but ...

    Pete
     
  28. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

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    This thread is about Todt's position on the USGP fiasco and I think his position gets blasted from a fan/support base stand point. As a team manager, he did what he needed to do and bravo! But as quickly as he said they should have raced, he would have screamed bloody murder if any of the Ferrari's were damaged or worse yet, harm caused to one of their drivers.

    Michelin and the FIA (MM) are the two ultimately responsible for the situation that unfolded. It was not helped by the actions of Todt and possibly the other teams in the minority on Bridgestones. As such, that reflects poorly on them and they deserve a kick in the pants for it, not Todt/Ferrari worshipping from the fans.

    Sunny
     

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