F1 Turkish Grand Prix

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Todt won't play favorites at Ferrari

Aug 27, 2007 - 2:02 PM By Ian Parkes Special to PA SportsTicker

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Ticker) - Ferrari boss Jean Todt is adamant there will be no favoritism as Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa hunt down McLaren in the race for the Formula One world titles.

Massa spearheaded a Ferrari one-two in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix to close the gap on championship leader Lewis Hamilton to 15 points, with Raikkonen 16 points down.

In the constructors' championship, Ferrari is 11 points adrift of its bitter rivals.

Two-time reigning world champion Fernando Alonso finished third, while rookie sensation Hamilton was fifth after a blown tire wrecked his chances.

In previous years at Ferrari - when Michael Schumacher ruled - the Maranello marque consistently threw its weight behind a man who ended his career last year a seven-times world champion.

Now, with Massa and Raikkonen both in the hunt for the title, the Ferrari duo will continue to share equal billing.

"There is no plan or strategy to safeguard the championship," Todt said. "It is something that would be completely inappropriate when you have two fine drivers like Kimi and Felipe doing such a good job.

"After 12 grands prix there is one point between them. They've both had problems because of some mistakes we have made, and they have made some mistakes as well. But that is normal, we are all human. At the moment there is no plan for a strategy for one or the other."

Todt added: "Both are doing a very good job, and there is very good harmony in the team. Both want to win, and they will get the same chance and the same support.

"Right now the championship is still open. It will be tough, but we will try our best until the end."

Todt described Sunday's grand prix at the Istanbul Park as "a dream race and a dream result".

He said: "It was very pleasing, very rewarding. The race went perfectly well. When you're first and second, you are very happy."

Yet he could not hide his respect for Hamilton, who managed to regain control of his McLaren after the right front tire blew.

The 22-year-old Brit displayed superb instincts, eventually nursing the car into the pits for a fresh set of rubber and fifth place.

"Hamilton did a fantastic race," Todt said. "In a way, after what happened to him, he was quite lucky to bring four points home.

"But when you see what he has been doing all season, it is a great job. He has been quite successful when he has had problems like in this race."

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