Todt Looking Forward to Season's End

Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt has said his team are looking forward to next weekend's Chinese Grand Prix - because it will bring an end to their troubled season

Todt Looking Forward to Season's End

After Michael Schumacher did all he could at Suzuka to take seventh place, Todt has said he cannot wait for Ferrari to finally get the year finished so they can focus their efforts on 2006 now that they have wrapped up third place in the Constructors' Championship.

"In a few days, we will be back on track in Shanghai for the final race of the year," said Todt. "The only pleasure we can derive from that is that this negative season is coming to an end. Then, along with Bridgestone, we will be able to turn our full attention to preparing for 2006."

Schumacher was not so disappointed with his performance in Japan, especially after getting involved in some pretty spectacular battles with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

"The best thing to come out of today is that we have secured third place in this year's Constructors' Championship," he said. "Considering the performance of our package this season and the tough time we have had, this is not such a bad result. Especially, when you consider that, in the ten years I have been with Ferrari, this will have been our worst season.

"As for the race, I was disappointed that, unlike in Brazil, I was unable to keep pace with the Renaults. Sure, it is fun to have a good fight on the track, but it would have been better if I had been more competitive. At my second stop, we had to make some adjustments to the car, which cost us time and lost me a place."

Teammate Rubens Barrichello admitted that his afternoon's hopes were effectively dashed when he got caught up in the drama at the first corner.

"This was a tough race for me, ruined by what happened on the opening lap," said the Brazilian who eventually finished 12th. "I was trying really hard to overtake Villeneuve around the outside and everything was going okay.

"I could not close the door too much on Jacques. I had Sato in my sight so I could see him going off the track. With him in front of me as he went off the track, I found myself with no downforce and also ended up in the gravel. Then I had to come in as my left rear tyre was punctured.

"With the Safety Car on track, we changed strategy, going for a single refuelling stop, but I was too far back and there was not much I could do."

Although the result was not up to Ferrari's previous high standards, the team have chosen to dedicate the result to test team mechanic Ivan Petterlini, who was killed in a car crash last week.

Todt said: "Two points is not much, but all the same, we dedicate them to one of our team, Ivan Petterlini, who tragically died last Sunday. These last few days, all of us have been thinking of him."

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