Todt Denies Ferrari are Anti-Minardi

Ferrari boss Jean Todt denied on Friday that the Formula One World Champions had anything against struggling Minardi.

Todt Denies Ferrari are Anti-Minardi

Ferrari boss Jean Todt denied on Friday that the Formula One World Champions had anything against struggling Minardi.

Minardi owner Paul Stoddart wants to enter Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix with last year's cars, which do not conform to the regulations, and has accused Todt and Ferrari of being the main resistance to his high-profile campaign.

"It is not Ferrari against Minardi," Todt said after stewards ruled that the Italy-based team could not take part in the race without making modifications to the aerodynamics.

Stoddart has taken legal action to try and overturn the stewards' ruling.

"We have been always supportive of Minardi, we have been giving (them) parts for so many years - loaning our track, we have been doing as much as we could do for Minardi.

"It is not a question of trying to be nasty to Minardi. We respect Minardi a lot, personally I do respect the small teams who have to fight so hard to find the finance and all that," added Todt.

"That said, you have a game and if you want to play in it the rules should be the same for everybody."

Minardi had sought exemption from the aerodynamics regulations, arguing initially that they were introduced for safety reasons which should not apply to them because their cars were already several seconds slower than the rest.

Performance Issue

Todt suggested the performance issue, and an attempt to gain publicity, lay behind Stoddart's actions.

"I don't want to talk on his behalf but we know that between the 2004 and 2005 rules you lose performance," said Todt. "So if you keep the 2004 package, you don't lose this performance and you become more competitive. It's the only reason.

"Maybe sometimes to get publicity you do things that you shouldn't do, some need it, some don't. Personal opinion," added the Frenchman.

"Sometimes big stories are made out of nothing," he said.

"We have a sporting regulator which is the FIA. Some like it and some don't. We have a Formula One championship under the control of the FIA. It is up to the FIA to make the rules and to make sure that the rules are applied.

"As far as Ferrari is concerned, it's not a question of whether we are happy or not.

"I've always said that if it comes to the teams, and if everybody has signed, Ferrari will not block and will sign. I don't feel that it is up to the teams to decide but it is what we did," he added.

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