Ferrari principal Todt fuels retirement speculation

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has dropped his heaviest hint yet that the Prancing Horse will soon be racing in Formula 1 without the Frenchman at the helm

Ferrari principal Todt fuels retirement speculation

The 54-year-old was with the Italian team for seven years prior to it clinching a drivers' and constructors' title double this season. The 'Little Napoleon', along with technical director Ross Brawn and designer Rory Byrne, has been key to turning around Maranello's fortunes and giving Michael Schumacher the platform to take Ferrari's first drivers' title in 21 years. But Todt made it clear that beyond 2001 his role with the team could draw to a close.

"This has been a good way to finish the season, and a good way to start the next one," said Todt, following his team's one-three in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix. "I love motorsport, I love motor racing and I love having a challenge. But there are other things in my life and the intensity of this job is not something that you want to do forever.

"I don't want to be working as hard as I have been for the rest of my life. I would prefer to retire early. I have to think carefully about my future.

"We will try to win it again next year. But after that we will see..."

Technical chief Brawn warned that despite securing the title double, Todt and the team should not expect 2001 to be any easier.

"We've got a lot of work to do for next season," he said. "We can't be complacent, but it's great to come from where we have. There's a monkey off our back now. But I'm sure the expectations are going to be just as high, as are the ambitions and objectives. It won't be any less difficult for having done it this year."

Brawn cited the ongoing battle between F1's 'superteams' McLaren and Ferrari as the main reason why complacency wasn't an option.

"I think the development of the two teams is just incredible, which is why they are so far ahead of the rest of the field," he said. "We are driving each other on - that's what it is."

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