"They [Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa] are the drivers for the present and the future of Ferrari. It's up to us to give them a good car." So said Ferrari's team principal, Jean Todt, on Sunday June 24, and he should know.
But the fact that, only seven races into a Formula One season that Todt's team started with an imperious win from pole position (with fastest lap by a mile thrown in for good measure), he should have been forced to make such a remark, to quell speculation that the position of Raikkonen, the winner of that first race, wasn't safe, is eloquent verification, that all isn't absolutely tickety-boo at the Scuderia.
'Stepney-gate' - the ongoing saga surrounding a very senior Ferrari mechanic/engineer, Nigel Stepney, who is at the centre of a legal enquiry over unspecified claims about his behaviour while at Ferrari - has brought matters to a head, in the sense that it has prevented Todt from being able to operate from the everything-in-the-garden-is-rosy media standpoint so beloved of his cut-throat rival, McLaren's Ron Dennis.
But, although everything (on track at least) is rosy at McLaren, it's hardly surprising that it isn't at Ferrari. Yes, 'Stepney-gate' isn't helping, and undoubtedly the team miss his uber-industrious input.