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Don't write off Ferrari just yet: Todt
Denes Albert |
August 25, 2003 10:42 IST
Ferrari are still very much in contention for the Formula One championship despite disappointing performances in the last two races, team principal Jean Todt said on Sunday.
"I think it would be a bit too early to say that the season is over. We will fight and we see good chances to succeed," Todt told reporters after the Hungarian Grand Prix.
World champion Michael Schumacher finished eighth to cling to his overall lead by a solitary point and his team mate Rubens Barrichello retired after crashing with suspension failure.
Todt said the Brazilian's wheel came loose because a so-far reliable composite wishbone had broken.
"We have been using the same wishbone for two years," he said. "I can tell you that it is broken but I don't know why.
Todt was asked whether the performance of Bridgestone tyres was the reason for the Italian team losing last year's advantage over rival teams.
"Last year we were so dominant a lot thanks to the tyres," Todt said. "At the moment, together with Bridgestone but not only because of (Bridgestone) we are a bit struggling with certain circuits and certain conditions."
Schumacher, chasing a record sixth world title, also lost precious seconds when his car ran out of fuel during the second pit stop and had to be restarted.
"It (the engine) cut while he was at the pit stop. We lost seven seconds altogether," Todt said, refusing to comment on his team's chances for the season's remaining three races.
"I don't know. I think for Monza we will know before the race, where we will do a lot of testing," he said, admitting that a three-week test ban since the German Grand Prix had left Ferrari little chance of catching up with their rivals.
They are now eight points behind Williams in the constructors' championship.
"I am sure we have what it takes to fight back again," Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said.
Of the remaining three grands prix, Monza is the Italian team's home race and Schumacher has won for the past three years at the Suzuka circuit in Japan.