News and views on motorsports

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Mr Todt's Comments

Michelle Yeoh's beau appears in the news once again here on PlanetF1, here and here on, with comments on qualifying, testing limits and the so called "isolation" that Ferrari are faced with by the other teams.

Todt seems to think that the isolation is simply the consequence of winning too much in recent times. When Ferrari weren't so dominant reasoned Todt, such isolation was not as pronounced. Its all arguable of course. Some may point to the Ferrari's political behaviour in the past and unlimted supply of Fiat lires providing them unrivalled facilities and financial firepower as the cause of the isolation. Teams obviously can't spend as much as they do, so how the hell do you compete? And yet hope still remains that some will. At least they will once Michael Schumacher retires. Others may point to Ferrari's chumminess with the FIA as another source of isolation. There are many causes Mr Todt and Ferrari themselves have as much to do with this as the others being sour grapes.

Ferrari according to Todt will be limiting their in-season testing to some 15000 km. A few weeks ago the party line was, we'll test till we drop. Our money to waste, blah, blah, blah. We'll see about testing limits Mr Todt. I wonder if Williams or McLaren are leading you mid season, whether you will indeed keep to this so called self imposed limits. Or will Luca, now at the helm of Fiat, be pouring the Euros and Lires to your rescue.

Ferrari have a big habit of presenting themselves as the innocent injured party time and time again. They've got this routine down pat. When the other teams do it, it comes of as whining. When Ferrari do it, they potray themselves as this sweet innocent little team simply trying to do their best against the hordes of big car manufacturer teams trying to gobble up the rabbit. That's just good PR I suppose. Same tactic the mafioso used to employ back in their heydays. Like the mafioso though, Ferrari conceals more political intrigue, money, facilities and sheer size than any other team. I would venture even more so than Toyota. I think the figure stands at 1.5 billion pounds sterling over the last five years. Try asking Minardi to do the same.

But I think Jean Todt's comments on the qualifying format are absolutely true to the point. The old 12-lap quali system being a much better spectacle than this current sad state of affairs. Jean Todt of course speaks from Ferrari's ass when he says that the present format was introduced with the sole intention of penalizing Ferrari. Its original itention I believe was to limit mileage and tyre usage. Plus it was thought that there would be more chances for top drivers to end up at the back thus improving the spectacle with more overtaking during the race. This of course has failed miserably I believe. Yes, bring back the 12 lap format. In fact bring back the unlimited lap format. Watching qualifying back in those days was even better than watching the race itself.

Speaking of qualifying, I'm getting confused just reading about the new system for this season. I don't know if the FIA is becoming such a bureaucratic organization that its actually spilling off into its regulations. I simply fail to see how it will spice up the show. I imagine the TV companies have something to do with it, but really they're going to lose out a lot of audiences worldwide with this silliness. KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. Just let them all go banzai for as much as they want. After all, testing is going to be extremely limited in this 19 race season. So let em go during qualifying.

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