Todt says no rift with Ferrari colleague

Fri, 4 January 2008, 02:24

Jean Todt has played down speculation that he may have fallen out with his Ferrari colleague Luca di Montezemolo.

After nearly a decade and a half as the Italian formula one team’s boss, Frenchman Todt has finally stepped down, while maintaining his new role as CEO of the entire Maranello based marque.

But rumours recently hinted at increasing friction between the 61-year-old and Montezemolo, who is Ferrari’s president and also chairman of Fiat, the marque’s Italian parent.

Asked about the rumblings this week by the German trade magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Todt said: “If I look back on my time at Ferrari, the thing I am most proud of is that I survived 15 years in this job and am still able to independently determine my future.

“I do not have a problem with Montezemolo,” he immediately added. “We are friendly with one another, even if naturally we do not always have the same opinion — I am no yes-man. We have discussions openly.

“I am content, as long as I can help Ferrari and as long as I am still among the decision-makers,” Todt said.

He also side-stepped claims that his next move could be to leave the Italian team altogether in order to succeed Max Mosley, who came under increasing pressure in 2007 to finally retire, as FIA president.

“That is not a question that I must answer today,” Todt said. “Despite all the hostility, Max Mosley does a good job and I do not strive for it. On the contrary, I want him to keep going.”

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