FIA President Jean Todt inadvertently (or not) summed up all that is wrong with Formula 1 today, namely without the right car not even five-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton would win races.
At the Geneva Motorshow, Todt was quizzed by reporters about the prospects for F1’s three rookies on the grid starting with the season opener in Melbourne on 17 March.
Bearing in mind that the top three drivers in last year’s Formula 2 Championship have all progressed into the top flight, reigning champion George Russell will drive for Williams, runner-up Lando Norris for McLaren and Alex Albon for Toro Rosso.
Todt explained, “It depends on the car they will drive. It’s not a question of being a young driver, it’s a question of having a good car to race with or not. If they have a good car they will be competitive, if they don’t they will be behind.”
And then slipped the gem: “It’s something you should understand, the driver without a [competitive] car will do nothing. If you put Hamilton in the worst car of the field, he will not be on pole and he will not be champion.”
“You have people who have decided to step out of F1, like Alonso, because he is not able to have a winning car.”
Todt was also asked to comment about the sensational rise into the limelight of young Mick Schumacher, to which he responded, “I’m very happy, it’s Michael’s son Mick, I’ve known him since he was a baby. I love him, he’s a great character and we must leave him in peace.”
“He is proving to be a very talented driver. On top of that, he’s a very nice boy, very humble, very well-brought up. I will follow him very closely as I’ve always been doing.
“He’s a simple, honest, loyal, good boy. He’s not yet spoiled by the world,” added the FIA President, who led Ferrari during the golden Michael Schumacher era at the turn of the century.