AUGUST 28, 2007
Power struggles at Ferrari
Jean Todt is not usually very helpful to the Formula 1 media, unless he needs their help to make a point he wishes to be made. On Sunday in Istanbul he used his post-race media chat to let the world know that he is "not prepared to retire". Todt says that he is still very motivated and says that he hopes that he can continue "or a few more years".
He went on to make the point that he is 15 years younger than Bernie Ecclestone.
The big question is why Todt felt the need for such a revelation.
Last autumn Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo said that Todt would be "interim" managing director for the Ferrari F1 team and that a new generation would be moving up but there has been no sign of that this year with Todt at all the races.
There remains a question mark over what is to happen with Ross Brawn. He was technical director of the team but stood down this year for a sabbatical. It has long been speculated that he would return to Maranello as the head of the sporting department. That could still happen with Todt in the chief role with the car company and Brawn in charge of the racing but Todt's comments suggest that he wants the racing hat as well. And that would mean that Brawn would not be able to take the role. He says he has no interest in returning in his former position.
"We are just discussing about his options, our options," said Todt. "Maybe we will find some common point, maybe we will not find some common point. He has been doing a tremendous work at Ferrari and Ferrari have given him a lot. So our partnership has been good for him and good for Ferrari."
Or to pout it another way, Ferrari owes Brawn nothing.
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