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Todt plays down Toro Rosso performance

Ferrari team chief Jean Todt has played down Toro Rosso's performance at the Australian Grand Prix.

With some of Toro Rosso's rivals having expressed their unhappiness at the team's competitiveness with the V10 engine, Todt has said Vitantonio Liuzzi's overtaking of Michael Schumacher in Australia was only down to the tyres.

Schumacher struggled to get heat into his tyres after the four Safety Cars periods before crashing out of the race.

"Not at all," said Todt when asked if Toro Rosso's pace was superior because of the V10. "If you take the race 15 laps later, when Michael had the right temperature in his tyres, he was two seconds quicker than them.

"It's not the reason why Michael was overtaken."

As exclusively revealed by autosport.com, the Super Aguri and Midland teams have written to the FIA asking that Toro Rosso to be excluded from scoring points in the constructors' championship following their performance in the first three races of the season.

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost also downplayed his team's pace in Australia and hit out at those teams complaining against them.

"We were a little bit too slow," Tost told autosport.com. "Complain, the only people who do have not done their work in a proper way, the others do not complain.

"Look at the livery on our car, Toro Rosso is fighting and that is what we enjoy to do in any position."

BMW motorsport boss Mario Theissen, on the other hand, said Toro Rosso's performance in Australia had been better than it should have been.

"Well we saw Toro Rosso today fighting Ferrari and that looks a bit strange," he said. "Certainly on this track they were quite competitive, maybe a bit more than they should be for the rest of the package but maybe I think we should watch them for another one or two races."

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