Jean Todt has pointed to the unity within Ferrari as key to Michael Schumacher’s success in red while reflecting on Sebastian Vettel’s time with the team.
Vettel is on the way out of Scuderia Ferrari after five seasons so far and no titles to show for that period, having won four straight with Red Bull Racing.
Todt led the Maranello squad during the Schumacher era, which saw the German won five of his seven world championships.
When asked to comment on what Vettel’s comparatively underwhelming return at Ferrari said for his countryman’s achievements, Todt told Sky Sports F1, “The result, good or bad, you can always explain it.
“Together with Michael, the whole team at Ferrari, we had so much success because we had a very united, strong team, who were supportive to each other, mainly in the difficult times than in the good times.
“It’s easy to be together when all is good, but you see a good sailor in a rough sea. When we were in a rough sea, we were all on the boat, and I think that’s what made the difference.”
Vettel’s future is not yet known but there is at least some level of interest from the Mercedes-AMG Formula One Team if Team Principal Toto Wolff’s recent comments are any guide, while the Renault F1 Team has a vacancy due to Daniel Ricciardo’s move to the McLaren F1 Team.
Todt believes that the 32-year-old would be an asset wherever he may land in F1 in 2021, if at all.
“Sebastian Vettel is one of the greatest talents in motorsport,” declared the man who is now the FIA’s President.
“An announcement has been done, but he will not drive for his actual team beyond 2020. There are a lot of other opportunities.
“We can only wish him the best, and I really feel that whoever will take him, will be very lucky.
“He is clearly one of the drivers that with a proper car, he can win championships.
“When Michael arrived in ’96, he only managed to win three races; not because he was not motivated, (but because) he simply did not have the car to allow him to be world champion.
“Slowly, we built the car and built the team which made it possible, so it’s a combination.
“You take Lewis Hamilton; if he would not be able to drive a winning car, he could not be world champion.
“You saw that with (Fernando) Alonso, you saw that with Vettel. It’s logic.”