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post #71 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Ferrari will not stand in Michael Schumacher's way if the seven-times Formula One world champion decides to come out of retirement and race for Mercedes, president Luca di Montezemolo told Reuters on Monday. The 40-year-old has worked as a consultant for the Italian team since retiring at the end of 2006 but reports say he is close to signing with fellow Germans Mercedes, who have taken over world champions Brawn.
Schumacher announced in September he would work as a consultant for Ferrari for another three years. Asked if Ferrari would enforce the deal, Montezemolo said: "No, not binding."

"It's clear that if he decides to take another road our (consultancy) agreement will no longer be valid, that is logical. You can't work with a competitor and with us at the same time," Montezemolo told Reuters in an interview.

"I still haven't spoken to him about it. He is only a dear friend, not a team member. He is a consultant for our road cars."
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post #72 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 08:41 PM
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Another rumor?

Michael Schumacher says yes to £20m Mercedes return to Formula One (Daily Mirror)

"Contrary to reports that the sport's most successful racer would be earning just £6million, the German will actually rake in the biggest salary in F1 next season, totalling nearly £20m."
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post #73 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 11:29 AM
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Mercedes boss hints at F1 return for Michael Schumacher

BBC Sport - F1 - Mercedes boss hints at F1 return for Michael Schumacher

Page last updated at 18:14 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Mercedes boss hints at F1 return for Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher
Schumacher, who has won 91 grands prix, could be set for a return

Mercedes boss Nick Fry has dropped the strongest hint yet that Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher will come out of retirement to race next year.

The 40-year-old last raced in Formula 1 in 2006, but he has been strongly linked with a return to the sport with the renamed Brawn GP team.

Fry made it clear the seven-time world champion was top of his list, saying: "He would be very good for our team.

"The view from inside F1, not just my team, is they all hope it will happen."

Schumacher has been working as a consultant with Ferrari since his retirement, but the Italian team has confirmed they would not block him from joining Mercedes.

And although Schumacher has yet to comment on stories suggesting his move to Mercedes is a done deal, BBC Sport understands his return to F1 as team-mate to Nico Rosberg is looking increasingly likely to happen.

Fry added: "I can't tell you at this stage [if it will happen], unfortunately.

ANDREW BENSON BLOG
My information is increasingly that Schumacher's return as Nico Rosberg's team-mate is looking like a done deal

"A number of drivers are still available if Michael were to decide not to drive. Then there are alternatives that we would be happy to go with."

Schumacher almost returned this year as a temporary stand-in for Ferrari's Felipe Massa after the Brazilian's accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but the plans were dropped as he had still to fully recover from a motorcycle injury earlier in the year.

However, his neck is now thought to be fully healed, paving the way for his potential return, BBC Formula 1 commentator Jonathan Legard saying: "He's kept himself very fit and this has been in the background for some time.

"I bet if he's keen to do this he'll have at least a month-and-a-half of hard work done already. As I understand it it could happen before the end of the year."

I don't want to say any more, or talk about any plans he might have

Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabin Kehm

Schumacher's spokeswoman, Sabin Kehm, refused to comment, saying: "I don't want to say any more, or talk about any plans he might have."

But compatriot and Virgin driver Timo Glock believes Schumacher's return is a certainty.

"The flame is still there, it's still burning. For me, it is quite obvious he is coming back," said Glock. "There's still a lot of speculation, but in the end he is a crazy race driver and he wants to come back to racing.

"It's not enough for him to just do go-kart races, or go to the Race of Champions at the end of the year.

"For F1 and the fans it would be a big boost, a seven-time world champion coming back after three years out.

"It would be a mega highlight, and to drive for Mercedes, you would have a German driver in a German car."

Eddie Irvine, Schumacher's former team-mate at Ferrari, said the German had struggled to find an outlet for his ruthless competitive streak since retiring.

"He's been bored I think. Very, very bored and he's definitely up for it," Irvine told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I hope he comes back, it will be fantastic for F1.

"In F1, you're on show and got to perform, whereas in the real world it's months or years before you can get the same rush. Michael has been karting since he was four or five so he knows nothing else.

"He tried the motorcycle riding which was sheer madness because he wasn't very good and wasn't getting paid so I never understood that one, but F1 makes sense."

He's not at the peak of his game, but he's still good enough to win races

Eddie Irvine on Schumacher

However, Irvine added that while Schumacher would still have the speed to be competitive, younger drivers such as Lewis Hamilton could have a psychological edge.

"Lewis isn't going to back off, but Michael will have to because he'll be 41. The speed will be there, though he won't be as fast as he was seven years ago.

"He's not at the peak of his game, but he's still good enough to win races as he has such an immense talent. It's still four wheels, a steering wheel and an engine and there's never been anyone better than Michael."

While Schumacher would hope to be towards the front of the grid should he return, meanwhile, Glock has more modest ambitions for next season in a car making its championship debut.

"To beat Michael would be a good year for us, but we have to concentrate on ourselves, and not look at what others are doing," said the former Toyota driver.

"We have to focus on our job, that's what is important."
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post #74 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Virgin drivers say Schumacher is surely coming back Virgin Racing driver Timo Glock says he is almost certain that countryman Michael Schumacher will make a return to the F1 grid for the 2010 season.
Schumacher, who retired from racing at the end of the 2006 season, had been set to make a comeback earlier this year with Ferrari before concerns over a neck injury he sustained in a motorbike accident forced him to shelve plans to step in as a replacement for the injured Felipe Massa.

Having now had more time to recover from the injury, Schumacher has found himself at the centre of mounting speculation about a move to Mercedes GP for 2010, with the German newspaper Bild suggesting at the weekend that the announcement of a deal could be imminent.

That was followed by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo telling the news agency Reuters that the Scuderia wouldn’t stand in Schumacher’s way if he wanted to make a return to racing – although the Italian conceded that he hadn’t spoken to Schumacher about the speculation.

Speaking at the launch of the Virgin Racing program, where Lucas di Grassi was confirmed as his team-mate for 2010, former Toyota driver Glock said that his feeling was that it was ‘obvious’ that Schumacher will return to the sport in an attempt to add to his already glittering resume and that it would be a ‘mega highlight’ for the sport.

“The flame is still there, it’s still burning and it will be great if he returns,” Glock told reporters. “For me, my personal feeling, it’s quite obvious he is coming back.

"There's still a lot of speculation, but in the end he is a crazy race driver and he wants to come back to racing. It's not enough for him to just do go-kart races, or go to the Race of Champions at the end of the year.

"For Formula 1 and the fans it would be a big boost, a seven-time world champion coming back after three years out. It would be a mega highlight, and to drive for Mercedes, you would have a German driver in a German car." YahooEuroSportUK
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post #75 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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Fry admits Schu talks taking place (GMM) Nick Fry has admitted that talks with Michael Schumacher are taking place.

Asked about German reports claiming a deal to bring the seven time world champion out of retirement in 2010 has been done, the Mercedes GP chief executive said: "I can't tell you at this stage, unfortunately."

But the Briton did say that Schumacher would be "very good for our team" and that a number of other drivers "are still available if Michael were to decide not to drive", according to an Associated Press report.

"Then there are alternatives that we would be happy to go with," Fry added, describing the theoretical line-up of Schumacher alongside Nico Rosberg as "formidable".

German reports said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche on Tuesday warned that the identity of Rosberg's teammate is not expected to be clear until next month.
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post #76 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 11:50 AM
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Schumacher to be paid £20m by Mercedes in F1 2010

Schumacher to be paid 20m by Mercedes in F1 2010

Schumacher to be paid £20m by Mercedes in F1 2010

Having been reluctant to meet Jenson Button's pay demands for 2010 - leading to the reigning F1 World Champion jumping ship to rivals McLaren - Mercedes Grand Prix is willing to push the boat out to secure Michael Schumacher's services next season, it appears, with a reputed offer of some £20 million a year...
Michael Schumacher will receive a salary almost three times higher than that which Ross Brawn had been willing to pay reigning F1 World Champion Jenson Button, should he indeed put pen to paper and join Mercedes Grand Prix in 2010 to complete what has been described as 'one of the greatest comebacks in sport'.

It was reported in a number of German publications at the weekend that Schumacher and Mercedes – formerly Brawn GP – had in principle agreed terms for the most successful driver in the top flight's history to return to the grid next season alongside young compatriot Nico Rosberg in an all-homegrown 'super team' [see separate story – click here].

However, whereas it had initially been understood that the offer on the table was somewhere between £3.5 million and £7 million – similar to the figure of between £4 million and £8 million bandied about regarding the deal presented to Button – the Daily Mirror now reveals that Schumacher will likely take home an annual pay packet of some £20 million, the highest retainer in the sport following the departure of 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, albeit still £10 million less than he was paid at Ferrari.

Adding further credence to the rumours, the Scuderia's president Luca di Montezemolo has admitted that the 91-time grand prix-winner's three-year consultancy contract is 'not binding' and that Schumacher is 'only a dear friend, not a team member' [see separate story – click here] – and doctors have given him the all-clear to make a famous return, now that the neck injury that ruled him out of replacing former team-mate Felipe Massa back in the summer has healed.

Should the extraordinary coup to lure the 40-year-old back into competitive action indeed come off, Mercedes will have fulfilled its promise to re-enter F1 for the first time in more than half a century with a star-studded driver line-up – only after paying Jordan Grand Prix a comparatively miserly £125,000 to ensure Schumacher of his debut in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps the best part of two decades ago, it appears the Stuttgart manufacturer will have to shell out rather more second time around...
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post #77 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 01:48 PM
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Here we go... With Michael back in the line up F1 should be fun to watch this year!
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post #78 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 08:38 AM
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I still haven't spoken to him about it. He is only a dear friend, not a team member. He is a consultant for our road cars."
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post #79 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 10:59 AM
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Michael Schumacher wants to return to F1, Ferrari say

BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Formula 1

Friday, 18 December 2009
Michael Schumacher wants to return to F1, Ferrari say
By Jonathan Legard
BBC F1 commentator

Michael Schumacher and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo
Schumacher and Di Montezemolo shared years of success

Michael Schumacher has told Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo he is planning a comeback with Mercedes.

It is the first time anyone close to the German legend has confirmed he is actively pursuing a return, which has been rumoured for weeks.

"I spoke to him [on Wednesday] and he told me there is a very strong possibility but that it's not 100% decided," Di Montezemolo said.

He said a return by Schumacher, 41 in January, would be "good for F1".

Schumacher retired at the end of 2006 after winning five world titles with Ferrari in consecutive years from 2000-4, to add to the two he won with Benetton in 1994-5.

BBC Sport pundit Eddie Jordan revealed last month that Schumacher had had talks about a comeback with Mercedes and that it would probably happen - and now Di Montezemolo has confirmed it.

A lot of fans will think Michael is a traitor but I will explain to them it is not Michael but another one

Luca di Montezemolo
Ferrari president

"A guy called Michael Schumacher told us at Monza (in September) he would renew his (Ferrari consultancy) contract," Di Montezemolo said. "And it looked like his career would finish with Ferrari.

"But then there's another one who looks like him, 40, 41 yrs old, German, same name and decided to do a new career.

"Everybody in life can do what they prefer, and I understand that there is somebody at 41 years who wants to try again.

"So I think it's possible this twin, another Michael Schumacher, same age, same capability, some determination and spirit, will drive for Mercedes next year."

Di Montezemolo said Schumacher had been "destroyed" when it emerged he would not be able to make a temporary return to F1 with Ferrari last summer as a stand-in for the injured Felipe Massa because of a neck injury sustained in a motorcycle accident last winter.
Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso
Ferrari believe they can handle Massa and Alonso as team-mates

"He phoned me, and he was so sad. He said: 'Listen, the doctor says I cannot do anything because I still have a problem with the neck.

"That day, Michael was not sad, (he was) more than sad. He was destroyed.

"Of course, I will have a lot of fans on our website very upset. They think Michael is a traitor. But I will explain to them it is not Michael but another one.

"As a friend, it is difficult for me, but I'm happy to see somebody so fit and with such big determination.

"As chairman of Ferrari, I'm so sad. He received a lot from Ferrari, and he has given a lot to Ferrari. I think the combination in the good and the bad moments was very, very good.

"This is the reason why I think we have to accept there is another Michael who is wanting to race. The real Michael is still with Ferrari."

Schumacher still has to have medical tests on his neck injury before he can confirm a return, and Di Montezemolo said he expected a decision to be made public "at the end of December or the beginning of January".

Massa has recovered from the fractured skull he suffered at the Hungarian Grand Prix and will be driving for Ferrari again in 2010 alongside their new signing, double world champion Fernando Alonso.

Di Montezemolo admitted that Ferrari had been "affected psychologically" by Massa's crash, adding: "For many days, we were very worried for the possible recovery of the man and then the driver."

Massa has completed a test in a 2007 Ferrari this week, and Di Montezemolo said the team "strongly believe he'll again be very, very quick".

JONATHAN LEGARD BLOG
It was if Di Montezemolo did not want to believe what Schumacher himself had said during their phone conversation

Alonso will arrive at Ferrari with a reputation for being difficult to manage if the team does not focus on him - a legacy of his tumultuous season as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate at McLaren in 2007.

But asked if Ferrari could handle such a dominant personality, Di Montezemolo said: "Yes we can manage him, for three reasons.

"First, I spoke about these elements with (team principal Stefano) Domenicali 1000 times, not 100, and I spoke with Alonso.

"I told him: 'If you come to drive for us, because we want you, you drive for a team, you drive for a group, you don't drive for yourself.

"If you want a team, then you do your own team, fantastic, like John Surtees. In Ferrari we want to put you in the best condition to win. If not, we will never hire you.

"We know that you can win the championship. We will do our best but you are part of it. I spoke with him and he knows how to handle it.

"Second - and I'm proud for this - for many years, you have not seen any more polemics inside Ferrari.

Alonso is a very intelligent guy, very focused, and he understands that even during the past, he made some mistakes

Luca di Montezemolo

"The only time was once with (Rubens) Barrichello when we asked him to (play second fiddle to Schumacher) but this was because Michael was in condition to win the championship and sometimes this is important.

"But I am for team spirit, like in soccer, like in cycling. This is sport.

"The third reason is he's a very intelligent guy, very focused and he understands that even during the past, he made some mistakes, just as both Michael and I have done in our lives."

In a wide-ranging interview with a selection of British, Italian, Spanish and German journalists, Di Montezemolo addressed a number of other topics.

He backed world champion Jenson Button's decision to join McLaren as Hamilton's team-mate, saying: "Hamilton in McLaren is good motivation for him".

He said he backed the current drive to cut costs in F1 - but that it should never become a championship where all the cars were close to identical, adding that Ferrari would stay in the sport "until Formula 1 isn't Formula 1".

He questioned some of the current organisation of F1, saying the sport's stakeholders needed to look into issues such as whether the races were too long, ticket prices were too high, and its lack of engagement with the internet.

And he set out a vision for F1, which he believed "can play an important role for technology, ecology, environment, fuel consumption".
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post #80 of 92 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 03:00 AM
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Michael Schumacher to test drive in the desert for F1 comeback

Michael Schumacher to test drive in the desert for F1 comeback - mirror.co.uk
Michael Schumacher to test drive in the desert for F1 comeback


By Byron Young 18/12/2009



Michael Schumacher is planning a top secret test in the Middle East as the final step towards his Grand Prix comeback.

Having lured the legendary German away from Ferrari, his new bosses at Mercedes are desperately trying to keep the event secret.

Speculation on where it will be held has included Abu Dhabi, the stunning desert venue that staged the final round of the world championship in November, and Bahrain, which will stage the opening race of 2010.


Because Grand Prix regulations ban testing of cars less than two years old, the former Brawn team have no car for the seven-times world champion to use.

Instead he is expected to test a car from the GP2 feeder series which are almost fast enough to get on the back of a Grand Prix grid.

The test, expected to last for at least a week, demonstrates Schumacher's serious intentions about his return.

And it will answer the only key remaining issue - can his neck stand up to the trauma of racing in F1 again? Schumacher damaged his neck several times during his racing career and dealt it a severe blow when crashing his Superbike in testing at the start of the season.

The injuries were sufficient for him to instantly cancel plans to contest the championship.

Follow F1 correspondent Byron Young on Twitter
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