Jean Todt has let slip that Ross Brawn could be heading back to Maranello to take over at the head of the Ferrari team next season.

Although the possibility of the Briton taking charge of the Scuderia after his sabbatical year would not be a shock, little news has been forthcoming other than that there have been initial talks between the two parties. Todt, however, dropped the biggest hint that Brawn would take over as team principal during an interview at Fuji on the weekend.

"I am still responsible for the team but, on 27 October last year, I was named CEO of Ferrari, so there will be a conflict of interest," he explained to Spain's Al Pais newspaper, "At the end of last year, Michael Schumacher retired and Ross decided to take a year out, and I no longer had the desire to spend 14 hours at a trail 200 days a year. However, Mr Montezemolo asked me to do another year of directing the team.....

"Now, we have started up a conversation with Ross to see about the possibility of him returning to Ferrari. The decision is not taken but, if he returns, it will not be in the same role as before. It cannot be ruled out that he will be general director of the team."

Todt also took the opportunity to deny speculation that his relationship with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had deteriorated to the point where the Italian was trying to oust him from the company.

"Our relationship is fantastic," he insisted, "If clouds had appeared on the horizon, a Frenchman would not have been directing the team for 14 years. We form part of the fantastic history of Ferrari and I believe that we have had an important cycle that we are going to finish. Therefore, all these rumours of divorce among us are false.

"Two years ago, I had an unavoidable offer from another team, but I did not accept it, because to be a director of Ferrari has been the most fascinating thing of my life. Ferrari has done a lot for me, but I believe that I have also given them a lot."



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