(GMM) Former FIA president Jean Todt has played down rumors that he might be poised to return to Ferrari.
Prior to heading Formula 1’s governing body, the now 76-year-old Frenchman was the ultra-successful team principal at Ferrari throughout the Michael Schumacher era.
Now, some insiders speculate that Todt might make a comeback to replace the under-fire current Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto.
“I would doubt that is real news,” Todt told Italian media at the Trento sports festival.
“There is a lot of news underneath it that is not true,” he added.
“I had breakfast in Turin with Andrea Agnelli, many saw me and thought that I would also work with Juventus,” Todt laughed.
“It is obvious that when I was president of the FIA I was often with John Elkann, and we talked about Ferrari’s ambitions.
“But there is a difference between talking, sharing hope and working together,” Todt insisted. “I think that chapters are designed to pass from one to the next.”
Todt was even reluctant to give Binotto advice, having presided over Ferrari’s initially highly competitive 2022 campaign that ultimately morphed into Red Bull dominance.
“Each era is different, so I don’t want to give advice,” Todt said. “It’s too easy to do that.
“The only advice I can give is for him to keep going. Because Ferrari is already doing very well.
“It seems to me that people are not fully aware that Ferrari is back to winning, even though almost everyone would prefer to see Ferrari win championships.
“We can hope for next year because this year I don’t think it’s possible anymore, but to win you need excellence at all levels.”
Therefore, Todt doesn’t excuse the role played by Ferrari’s drivers in 2022 – notably the unofficial ‘number 1’ Charles Leclerc.
“Charles is already a great champion,” said Todt. “He is still missing something, but I hope that he has it soon.”