JANUARY 9, 2007
Hurray for Ferrari
There has been much criticism of Ferrari over the years because of its policy in recent years of having Michael Schumacher as its number one driver. This meant that Schumacher ended his career with magnificent statistics but with a stain on his career as he never had to fight his team mate as they were employed simply to help him achieve glory. The aim of this not very sporting policy was to maximise the success for Ferrari.
Now, it seems, the team has adopted a new policy: team boss Jean Todt has told the Italian media that Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa "are free to fight" on the race track this season provided that their rivalry does not harm Ferrari.
"It will be healthy if the two drivers compete against each other," Todt said. "We will be sure that this does not turn destructive because the ambitions of Ferrari come first. Raikkonen and Massa know this."
Todt's attitude will hopefully remain this way but he has always seen his job as being to deliver the best possible results for his employer and if that involves the sport suffering he has never minded in the past. This attitude first came to light in a major way back in 1989 when Todt was running the Peugeot team on the Paris-Dakar Rally. The event still had six days to run but drivers Jacky Ickx and Ari Vatanen were locked in combat to gain the upper hand. This became so intense that Vatanen rolled his car. Worried that the rivalry would result in failure for the team Todt tossed a coin and declared that Vatanen would be the winner. The result was that the competition stopped for the final six days and Peugeot duly achieved its goal - at the expense of the sport.
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