Jean Todt says the departure of Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Paolo Martinelli is not the “right time” for him to also leave the Ferrari team.
“I cannot just abandon the ship during this period of transition,” Frenchman Todt, 60, revealed in an insightful interview with the French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’.
Todt, since 1993 the team principal, has been promoted to the role of CEO at the Maranello based sports carmaker and intends to withdraw from formula one in the near future.
He admitted that his reputation in the F1 paddock for being prickly is deserved.
“Not everyone likes me, but that is partially my fault because I don’t necessarily want to be liked by mediocre people,” he said.
“I know I can be unpleasant.”
One such person who does not appear on Todt’s Christmas card list is Renault counterpart Flavio Briatore. Todt riled at Briatore’s recent suggestion that Felipe Massa scored his Ferrari seat because he is managed by his son, Nicolas.
“Coming from him, it makes me laugh,” Todt Sr said, “but I am not surprised.
“Felipe has demonstrated that he can handle the pressure of driving for a great team like Ferrari and being at Schumacher’s side.”