You ain't seen nothin' yet!
Predicts Ferrari boss [17/10/02 - 00:11]
If you think record-breaking five-time world champion Michael Schumacher and Ferrari weren't bad this season, just wait until 2003! That was the sobering message for Ferrari's pit lane rivals on Wednesday from one of the architects of the Italian team's phenomenal success, sporting director Jean Todt.
"It wasn't quite a perfect season," the Frenchman told German magazine Sport-Bild. "Seventeen 1-2s from 17 races, now that's perfection! We didn't manage that so we've still got a huge potential to improve. The engine, electrics, chassis, tyres: they were all good, but nothing was perfect."
And as if anticipating all the groans from fans for whom the relentless tide of Ferrari success week in week out proved a bigger turn off than a cold shower Todt declared:
"For me I don't need any more suspense. I had enough of that in the days before Ferrari had all its success."
Todt praised Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello for the way the Brazilian has developed as part of the well-oiled Ferrari roadshow.
"Rubens is more sure of himself now and has settled in better with us than before. All that will make him stronger."
Looking ahead to next season's opening race in Melbourne Todt said it was possible they might field this season's car rather than the brand new F2003.
"We didn't get it wrong when we used the 2001 car for the first race this year so perhaps we'll start off again with the old model."
Ferrari's near total domination has prompted F1's governing body the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to think about ways of plugging the fan-drain. One idea up for discussion at the FIA's meeting at Heathrow airport on October 28 is to introduce a weights handicapping system akin to the one used in horseracing. Whatever measures are adopted they are unlikely to include the suggestion of one F1 fan who maintained the only way to stop Schumacher was to put him behind the wheel of one of Ferrari's giant car transporters.