Todt says he would never have bet on Raikkonen win

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MILAN, Oct 28 (Reuters) Ferrari boss Jean Todt says he would never have bet on Kimi Raikkonen becoming world champion when the Italian team were struggling with reliability earlier in the season.

Finn Raikkonen took the drivers' title by one point from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso after winning the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix last Sunday.

''To tell the truth, I would not have bet on this victory,'' Todt told reporters today at a title-winning party at the Tuscan track of Mugello.

''For us, 2007 was a year of transition in many ways. The team was not cemented and we paid for it with the reliability but I hope we will not repeat this next year.'' Raikkonen must wait until a hearing on Nov. 15 to be sure he is world champion after McLaren launched an appeal against the decision not to penalise three drivers in Sao Paulo because of fuel irregularities.

Should the three drivers have their results nullified, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton would win enough points to be crowned champion instead.

''The drivers' standings are not yet definitive. But for us what is more important is to have won the world championship on the track and no one can take that away from us,'' Todt added.

Ferrari wrapped up the constructors' title last month after previous leaders McLaren were stripped of all their team points when they were found guilty of benefiting from the possession of Ferrari secrets.

REUTERS TB AS2229

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