Todt Plays Down F2005 Failure

The hydraulic failure that put Michael Schumacher out of the Bahrain Grand Prix was not the result of his Ferrari team rushing their new F2005 into action before it was fully ready, because the item that failed was a carry-over part from the all-conquering F2004

That is the claim of Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt, who revealed on Monday that post-race analysis of the specific problem that led to Schumacher's first mechanical retirement since July 2001 showed the problem was caused by a well-proven car component.

"It was the hydraulic pump," said Todt, who saw Rubens Barrichello's weekend blighted by gearbox problems. "You know we need to analyse each problem, but Michael's problem was not due to the new car. It wasn't something that had been changed from the old car to the new car."

Despite the Schumacher discovery slightly easing Ferrari's concerns about the reliability of the F2005, Todt is well aware that it is important the team make progress with the understanding of their car before the San Marino Grand Prix later this month.

"We want to get to know the car better, to cure the reliability problems that we encountered and to work closely with Bridgestone, our tyre supplier," he explained. "Then I think that if we can do that with some success, then we shouldn't be in too bad a situation for the Championship.

"But we must score more points quickly because otherwise we will compromise our chances. If from Imola we start doing what we did in 2004, then if you see the difference in points to the others at the end of last season we could have coped with having three bad races. So we will see."

Although Ferrari's World Championship hopes don't look good, with the team having lost a huge amount of ground to current title favourite Renault, Todt is maintaining his belief that his team are not far away from finding form.

"The situation already seems very dark, very bad, which I can understand but I think there's not a lot missing to be able to be in a much stronger position.

"We just need to be reliable for the whole race weekend and then to work properly with Bridgestone. We have some testing programmes which are going in this direction, and I am convinced that we will overcome this difficult period."

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