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Jean Todt and Ferrari

It seems that all the rumors about Todt leaving Ferrari came very close to the truth. Todt has admitted that he was going to retire if Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Paolo Martinelli had not moved on. With the team splitting up, Todt felt that he needed to continue for a year at least, just to keep things moving in the right direction.


I am no great fan of Ferrari but I have to admit that the team inspires great loyalty amongst its members. You don’t hear drivers complaining about the cars and no team members gripe about working for the company. That might have a lot to do with the way Todt has run the team and he demonstrates his own loyalty by his willingness to continue for the benefit of the company, but it also stems from how il Commendatore used to run the show.

Back in those days, if anyone criticized the cars or the team, they would find themselves without a job very quickly. Even former favorites like John Surteees had the boot for mentioning in public that the cars were rubbish. The style may have changed in that there is no-one of the stature of Enzo Ferrari to dictate as he did, but the effect is the same: Ferrari team members are Ferrari fans.

Which brings me back to my doubts about Kimi Rakkonen’s success in the red cars. He is just not the type to take easily to such a close-knit team. And there is tacit admission of Ferrari’s own fears on that score; apparently he will be asked to keep his partying out of the public gaze.

Which is all very well but does not take into account the fact that Kimi is big news these days. The press will find out somehow about his misdeeds and the rumors will abound. And Ron Dennis has already pointed out that talking to Kimi about such things achieves nothing.

The 2007 season looks like being one of the most interesting for a decade at least. On the track the number of pretenders to the throne has multiplied now that Michael Schumacher has gone. And part of the fun is going to be off-track, with everyone following Kimi’s latest escapade and its effect on Ferrari. I can hardly wait.

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