Ferrari won't dwell on Monaco controversy
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, May 29th 2006, 09:16 GMT|
Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt has said his team will not waste time dwelling on the controversy of Michael Schumacher's qualifying incident at Monaco - even though he remains surprised at the backlash against his team.
Schumacher found himself on the receiving end of a barrage of criticisms from fellow drivers, team bosses and pitlane personnel after the race stewards claimed he had deliberately stopped his car on the track in qualifying to hinder his rivals.
Ferrari remain adamant that Schumacher's moment in qualifying was a genuine mistake, and have expressed some hurt at what Todt claims was 'over-reaction' from other sections of the paddock.
"I was surprised but we are in a world where people very easily over-react," he said. "On my side, I try not to over-react and try to understand exactly what is happening. Saying that, Michael has, in the past, done some mistakes.
"He has admitted that he's made some mistakes but I don't know any driver, having been World Champion, being in a position to say he never made a mistake.
"On Saturday, Michael simply made a mistake as a driver, but it was not something twisty or unfair towards his competitors, but, as I said, it would be a lengthy discussion. Everybody can give his opinion.
"I know that the majority of the people around were saying that Michael did it on purpose. I feel... you know, when you are facing judges or tribunal, it's what is called the benefit of the doubt and nobody could really demonstrate.
"And we tried to demonstrate with the information that we had with telemetry data we had that it was a driver's mistake, it was not taken into consideration. My opinion is that it was a benefit of the doubt. It's what happens. It's over."
Todt said that he believes the Monaco furore will not have any lasting impression on Schumacher, especially when it comes to a decision about his future.
"Fortunately we are seeing things without having to take that (his future) into consideration," he said about Schumacher. "We know where we are.
"Every two weeks we have the opportunity to comment on the good, the bad, so it's no surprise. We know where we are and the last very important thing is to know where you are and to know with whom you work, inside and outside, so we don't have any surprises.
"Sometimes some more disappointments, sometimes some good reaction, good surprises but generally speaking we know where we are."
And although Todt and Ferrari have been criticial of both the race stewards' decision and the severity of the penalty imposed, he insists that the verdict will not cloud his opinion of the FIA.
"You know, if there's a team which is respecting the FIA and, I would say, following the FIA's decisions, it's Ferrari. Saying that, we cannot always be of the same opinion. We have to accept their decision, but we don't share their decision.
"When you discuss with people, you can agree with some people sometimes and you can disagree some other times. We did not agree about the heavy consequences they imposed on Michael."