FEBRUARY 16, 2002
Todt admits Ferrari will play it safe
FERRARI's Jean Todt says that the Italian team is going to start the year with the F2001 rather than risking problems with the new F2002. The new car has been lapping very quickly in tests but the team is not 100% sure about reliability and so will rely in the proven F2001 in Australia and Malaysia. The announcement is not a big surprise given the late arrival of the new car which left almost no time for testing. Having said that a team of Ferrari's size and professionalism should be able to build a competitive and reliable car. For many years McLaren produced cars at the last minute and was able to win races from the start of the season. The fact that the F2002 is being left at home is, therefore, a rather curious decision and has led to suggestions that Ferrari may be playing it safe for other reasons - perhaps that they do not want to face any technical challenges from McLaren - which has already expressed the belief that "rival teams" are running questionable systems.
Formula 1 being the den of conspiracy theories that it is, it is probably inevitable that there should be such talk...