Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has paid tribute to Jean Todt as the news emerged yesterday that the Frenchman is to leave the Maranello team completely. Todt was team principal from 1993 til 2007 – during the long reign of success the team enjoyed in the 2000s – and along with Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, is credited with the Italian team’s renaissance. Since 2007 Todt has been CEO for Ferrari, but broke off all his connections yesterday.
”Jean Todt has been one of the leading protagonists of the Ferrari story of the last 15 years,” Montezemolo said at a meeting of shareholders in Ferrari, where the announcement of Todt’s departure was made.
”Skill and passion have always characterised his work, and have won him my personal respect and affection, that of the company as a whole and of Prancing Horse enthusiasts everywhere.
”All of these years we’ve spent together – victories and tough times included – have forged a link between Jean Todt and Ferrari that will never be broken. I would like to wish him the very best for the future, which I hope will prove extremely satisfying, both personally and professionally.”
Todt’s future has been rumoured to lie at the FIA, where speculation has linked him with Max Mosley’s job as President. But it is thought that his strong links to Ferrari might jeopardise his appointment. Conspiracy theorists would have a field day, with the perception popular amongst some parts of the press that the FIA are institutionally biased towards Maranello.