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Ferrari focused on solving reliability issues 23 Jul 2007

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari with Jean Todt (FRA) Ferrari Sporting Director (Right).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 21 July 2007 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2007.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Race, Nurburgring, Germany, Sunday, 22 July 2007 Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Team Principal, Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari and Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Race, Nurburgring, Germany, Sunday, 22 July 2007

Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has admitted the Italian squad must keep working to solve reliability problems with the F2007 after Kimi Raikkonen retired midway through Sundays’ European Grand Prix. Todt insisted, however, that the Finn is still very much in the title hunt.

Raikkonen started the Nurburgring race from pole position, but things started to go wrong for him almost immediately when he slid wide at the pit entry at the end of lap one. It meant he had to do an extra tour on dry tyres in wet conditions, dropping him to sixth place by the time the race was resumed behind the safety car.

He fought his way back up to third, and was pressuring eventual winner Ferrnando Alonso for second place at one point, before his car began to intermittently lose power, forcing him out on lap 35.

"We definitely had a reliability problem today,” said Todt. “As I said before, we have to analyse what has happened. It was a hydraulic problem on Kimi's car and it stopped the car. It's definitely unfortunate but it's our responsibility. We think that we had this kind of problem during free practice in Magny-Cours."

The result means Raikkonen lies fourth in the driver standings on 52 points, 18 adrift of championship leader, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. The consolation was that Hamilton also failed to score and Todt is convinced that Raikkonen still has everything to play for.

"There are seven races to go and we have the potential to win every race, so if we are able to do a good job, it's still possible," he added.

Second place for Raikkonen’s team mate Felipe Massa at least meant that Ferrari dropped only two points to McLaren in the fight for the constructors’ championship. The Brazilian had looked set for victory until a late shower allowed Alonso to muscle his way past in the tricky conditions.

That led to the rather ironic situation of Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher presenting the winning constructor’s trophy to McLaren boss Ron Dennis on the Nurburgring podium. Todt, however, said he was simply sad to have lost the race.

"Honestly, I would have preferred that he (Schumacher) gave it to a Ferrari team member, but he was asked by the organisers to give the trophy so he did so,” said the Frenchman. “But my heart had more pain when Kimi stopped because of a hydraulic problem and when Felipe lost the lead after a fantastic race a few laps before the end."

Ferrari’s next confrontation with McLaren will be in this week’s much-anticipated FIA hearing. Todt confirmed that Ferrari will be represented, but did not reveal whether the team will be giving evidence against McLaren, who are charged with being in possession of technical data belonging to the Italian team.