Jean Todt on the Schumacher and Bianchi accidents

Author of the article: , published on October 21, 2014.

For all Formula 1 fans, the accidents of Michael Schumacher and Jules Bianchi caused a lot of pain. The president of the FIA, Jean Todt, is a man who feels more painful than anyone else.

Jean Todt was CEO of Scuderia Ferrari during Schumacher’s time, where he won five consecutive constructors ’titles. The team leader and racer developed a strong bond through difficult times between 1996 and 1999, when the team did not win titles under the auspices of Luca di Montezemola.

This friendship remained strong, despite the retirement of Schumacher and Todt from the sport and after Michael’s ski accident that put him in a coma for months, Todt became one of the few people not from the family and was more closely involved in his recovery.

Last month at the Japan Grand Prix, Todt faced another personal pain as Bianchi suffered severe and serious head injuries. The promising young Frenchman, who is also the best friend of Todt's son, Nicolas Todt, was introduced as a protégé of the Ferrari team.

The horrific accident was the first such accident since Ayrton Senna in Imola in 1994 and current FIA President Jean Todt is under severe pressure to investigate the cause of the accident. “I had to break down two things: between my responsibilities as FIA president and between my emotions. “I saw my desperate son see someone as his brother in this situation,” Todt said in an interview with La Gazzetta Dello Sport. “We should never take something for granted and rely on safety,” adds Todt, who added, “I mentioned this before Jules’ accident and I say it now. People witnessed horrific accidents as racers walked away without a scratch. They began to believe that it is normal when a car crashes at 200 km / h and nothing happens to anyone, but it is necessary to know that it was just a miracle. There is an astonishing amount of work behind it all. There is no 100% safety in our sport. ”

Todt and FIA racing director F1, Charlie Whiting, who leads the Suzuki crash test, will most likely release a report after the season is over.

Todt continues, “Due to a lack of past experience, everything may seem simple, but fate can have serious consequences. We have already explained the details of the accident and so I set up a commission to investigate deeper under the auspices of Peter Wright. For now, I have left the explanation to the racing director, so let's wait for the conclusion before the conviction. "

The original explanation of the accident, given by Charile Whiting at a meeting in Sochi, was accepted by many media as detailed and sincere, but it is understood that it was received with regret by members of the Italian media.

“The world is divided into 200 countries. Every country has its own idea, ”says Todt, who adds:“ The reaction of the Italian media was different from the reaction in Germany or the UK. But as I say, let's wait for the commission's findings. "

In an interview with La Gazzetta, Todt also spoke about Schumacher's visit and says: “I saw Michael three days ago. He has an amazing wife and family. The battle continues. With them are friendship and affection. We suffered a lot together even before we won and so our closeness grew. In a time of distress, true friends show up. ”

Jean Todt concluded the interview with advice given to new Ferrari manager Serigo Marchionne. As a Scuderia leader in a successful period, this is advice that is wise to follow. The Canadian tightened the pressure on the team this weekend as he wanted them to be more up-to-date, with the words “kick ass quickly” and added that Ferrari’s poor performance at Monza this year had pushed him to the point that it boiled him down. blood.

Todt says, “What advice should I offer? He must react calmly and pragmatically. When such a failure happens as it was at Monza, it is necessary to be aware that Alonso was the only driver to the Italian GP and then to Suzuka, who finished each race and won points. Remember what reliability issues we were dealing with in the beginning. ”

Asked when comparing the five-year series without the title of Ferrari world champion Ferrari to Michael Schumacher in 1996 and 1999, Todt said: “I can’t draw these parallels, as the first Ferrari with Michael at the helm lagged far behind the competition compared to with today’s Ferrari driven by Alonso. When I arrived, we were ranked on a scale between 1 and 10 in 2nd place. In 2009, we started from 7th place in the ranking. ”

Photos: FIA

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