At the launch of the Ferrari F2007, Ferrari CEO Jean Todt spoke to the waiting media about the new make-up of the Formula One team, the changes made and how 2007 will be a tough year for The Scuderia. By the Frenchman’s side were Antonio Ghini, Director of Communication at Ferrari, and Luca Colajanni, Head of Motor Sport Press Office, and together they forwarded a word of quiet confidence. Not only will Ferrari banish the potential demons that could cause unrest, they’ve also built a stunner of of a car. Read on to hear Jean’s words as he addressed the media.
The year 2007 is different to the last years for many reasons. Usually this first greeting of the year it is held at Campiglio, but last week I remained here to work on other things within the company. This fact is a symbol of the new cycle at Ferrari. Yesterday we did some shopping in Milan with Michael and we talked about many things. Right now he is in the garage to have a look at the car, but he is not the driver. I had a strange feeling seeing Kimi dressed in red, because until now we had to hide when we spoke to each other, while now we can do it in a normal way. Ross Brawn is fishing; you met the new Technical Director Mario Almondo in Campiglio and today you got to know also Aldo Costa and Gilles Simon, as heads of their respective departments.
The upcoming championship will be a difficult battle, because we have strong and ambitious competitors. We have always been ambitious, we also try to be strong. Obviously we have to reply with facts and right now we have the elements. The car is ready and tomorrow Massa will drive it if the weather allows it. It will be a working day also for our customers, as the day will be concluded with the prize giving for the Corse Clienti season 2006.
As far as the new organization of the Scuderia is concerned, I have to underline that Ross Brawn was the Technical Director excluding the engine, while Almondo is Technical Director of the chassis and the engine. This organisation is interesting, because Almondo has ample experience at Ferrari; he has different responsibilities and a different role than Ross. At the race track Baldisserri will be the boss; it is a different distribution of roles; the responsibilities are divided differently.
Kimi’s team will be the one that was Michael’s last year; there will be no modifications. As far as the competitiveness is concerned we can see an improvement at all levels in the simulations. We have to confirm that on the race track, because what counts in the end is the stop watch. There is the big difference concerning the tyres, which will be new and different for everyone. We do not expect an advantage. We’ve already seen that there are around two to three seconds difference, as compared to 2006. Last year we were competitive but not reliable enough. So we absolutely have to get back to the levels of the years 2000 to 2004 when we were victorious.
Jean Todt – Ferrari CEO.