Ferrari team boss Jean Todt has paid tribute to 'his team' following their success on Sunday at the Japanese Grand Prix, when Michael Schumacher won a record sixth drivers' championship, and Rubens Barrichello took the race win to secure the Constructors' for the Scuderia, for the fifth year running.

"Each year we try to achieve this and when you manage to achieve it, it's just like a dream come true," said Todt. "Let's say this season there was much more competition, it was much more difficult to achieve what we all achieved and we had to wait until the last race before it came.

"Now, even, if we haven't yet had the time to really enjoy it completely - because it's hard to believe, because we have been fighting so much for that - it will take a few days before we do realise it, and all the team can definitely feel proud of the job that has been done.

"The drivers did an outstanding job. Bridgestone did a fantastic job - all our partners. We have tried to push every single thing, which could be pushed. We introduced new fuel, new oil with Shell since Monza. We were pushing each single partner to try to improve the situation and we have had to fight against a very strong opposition: tyre company, engine supplier, teams.

"And the last thing I would mention is probably unique, the thing we can be most proud of: a group which since 1997 has been the same, has achieved the manufacturers championship five times in a row, Michael, four times in a row drivers' championship with Ferrari, plus the two years before. He's the only driver to have six successes in the drivers championship, so definitely, even if I say that we don't realise it yet, I think in a few years we will be able to be proud about what we have achieved."

Todt, of course, also praised Schumacher and explained his particular talents: "I would say he's very focused, he has a passion for his job, he's very professional, he's always available. When he needs something, he's pushing, he wants to understand, he's curious. And on the other side, I think Ferrari has given him fantastic support, fantastic car, fantastic engine, fantastic package.

"You know it's clear that we haven't been successful all the year, because we won eight races out of 16 compared to 15 out of 17 last year. And Michael is a great guy, but he needs a great car, because a great guy without a great car will not do the job. So I think it's a fantastic combination: a few very good people all put together without any controversy ever, just looking or trying to do the job in the company. Each one has his own responsibility, each one is supported in his own responsibility and supporting his colleagues and I think that in the end it makes a difference."

Todt also emphasized his team's qualities. "We are not spoiled. I think in our approach we are very humble. We respect the others a lot. We know that we make mistakes. We know our limits and I just feel that we keep our feet on the ground and we just try to do the job.

"We spoke to Rory [Byrne, chief designer] on Sunday. He was working in the wind tunnel. We spoke with Paolo Martinelli as well. He was in the engine department, so you know I think we are all focused, simply because we love being at Ferrari, we love being together and probably one of the reasons why none of us want to go is because we feel that in a way we would be betraying part of the group and we feel that we are not yet ready for that.

"Ferrari is a great company, great team, probably more pressure, but more emotion and more reward to the effort that we make and that's the end of it."

 

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