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Todt to stay at Ferrari

FERRARI's sporting director Jean Todt is to stay with the Italian team for the foreseeable future. Todt joined the team on a five-year contract in July 1993 and has been largely responsible for its increasing competitiveness in Formula 1 in recent seasons. Todt is believed to have agreed to another five-year deal, which will run out when he is close to retirement age in July 2003. The move maintains the stability of the company at a time when it is trying hard to keep hold of Michael Schumacher, not just for 1999 - which now seems certain - but for the long-term.

The best way to achieve this will be to guarantee Schumacher not only a completely dominant role in the team but also more money. It is expected, therefore, that Eddie Irvine's option with the team will be taken up for next year.

Although the Northern Ireland driver talks about leaving Ferrari to become a team leader elsewhere he knows that it is not very likely that there will be any offers from the top teams so his best course of action is to stay where he is and hope that Ferrari will become so dominant that he will be able to win races when Schumacher suffers mechanical failures.

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