Todt: Too early to draw conclusions

FerrariJean Todt has said it is too early to draw conclusions about his team’s championship chances, despite being out-paced by McLaren in the last two races.

“We feel we were able to compete against all the others except the winning team,” Todt explained. “For the second race in a row, we have been beated by a team more competitive than our team. It’s a big shame that we had to have one car excluded but no complaint. You have a red light – if you don’t stop in front of a red light, you get excluded. That’s it. We have to analyze very carefully the situation. Let’s hope that soon, we are able to do a better job.”

Todt admitted that when Massa exited the pit lane, the team did not realise that the red light was on, and Massa did not see it. “He did not pay attention,” Todt continued. “He was concentrated on going out and not having any car passing him. And we did not tell him anything. It’s in the rule – if you have a procedure where you say be careful, you will have the red light. You don’t have to see it. We did not say anything to him and he did not pay attention.

Todt pointed out that both Canada and Monaco were similar tracks in that they used the soft and super-soft tyre compounds, and that traction was a problem in slow corners therefore if a team struggled at one venue, it was likely they would struggle at both.

“Definitely McLaren did a good step forward. Maybe the specification of this circuit was more against our car. I think we have a quick answer next week. I am not saying next week we will be in front – but at least it’s a different kind of circuit. You have a lot of common points between Monte Carlo and Canada so we will have a different idea and a different circuit in one week’s time. Mainly, we were missing traction in slow corners.

“In Monaco we were slower, and here we were slower by half a second. But I mean we hardly had a clear track in front and we know that not having a clear track is a big disadvantage. I know we are preparing several developments. Will it be enough? Not enough? I will say, time will tell.”

Looking back at the race, Todt said he did not believe that Heidfeld finishing second means that BMW are now quicker than Ferrari. “It was a strange race because of the introduction of safety cars,” Todt explained. “It did not help our strategy. We had to stop our two cars earlier than planned so we could not get advantage of it. That comprimised significantly the race. Kimi slightly touched a car at the start, then he got some parts of the crashed car in the front wing, and it definitely damaged the performance of his car.”