Ferrari team boss Jean Todt has warned the media not to read too much into the Scuderia's apparent return to form in practice for the French Grand Prix, suggesting that Fridays are full of factors that prevent a real picture from being drawn.

Speaking in the official press conference following the culmination of three hours of free practice topped by both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, Todt suggested that his team had been run a different programme to its main rivals, resulting in a near half-second gap between the best F2007 and McLaren.

"I think we had less fuel in the car, you know," the enigmatic Frenchman admitted, "Ten kilos is between three to four tenths. What is important is the race, the qualifying day. You have a good idea about the fuel level, particularly in Q2, because everybody is [running] with low fuel, and then during the race. At the beginning [of the season], we were in front, then since three races we are behind, so we will see where we are from race number eight.

"It is far too early to comment on how competitive we are here. Today, we had some encouraging results that followed the results we had at Silverstone with a new development that had been added to the cars. I really hoped that we would be in a position to be able to fight for first position - it is crucial if we want still to pretend to have a chance for the championships."

Todt also admitted that problems with the wind tunnel at Maranello may have caused the team to fall off the pace during the three-race period between Monaco and Indianapolis.

"It's true that we had a problem with the carpet [rolling road] and we lost about two weeks' development, but that's not an excuse," he insisted, "It's up to us to have a wind tunnel that doesn't break! But, like with the wind tunnel, we did not work as well as our competitors, and that is why they are in front."

 

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