Tuesday 15 December 2009

Schumacher is Free to Leave Ferrari

So it looks like Michael Schumacher will surely make a comeback to Formula 1 fans - Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo stated on Tuesday that the Italian team will not stand in Schumi's way if he wants to drive for Mercedes GP.

The off-season news is all about Schumacher's return to the sport and we really hope this isn't just a publicity stunt for F1. Schumi is, after all, bound by contract to the Ferrari team as a consultant till the end of 2012. However, di Montezemolo told reporters today that Schumacher's deal is 'not binding'. If Schumacher does shift to Mercedes, he will partner his fellow countryman Nico Rosberg and end his 13-year stint with Ferrari.

"It's clear that, if he decides to take another road, our agreement will no longer be valid - that is logical," explained di Montezemolo. "You can't work with a competitor and with us at the same time. 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," he added.

On a side note, Mercedes (formerly Brawn GP) may face a $100 million slash in their budget in the 2010 season. German consumer products honcho Henkel is claiming that a three-year sponsorship contract with Mercedes in invalid since the contract was signed by a former employee without authorisation. Henkel alleged that they had informed Daimler (the parent company of Mercedes) of the problem back in September. As a result, Henkel sued Brawn GP in November and the legal proceedings are still on.

Henkel was paying through its nose to Brawn, and lack of funds would mean Michael Schumacher won't get what he asks for. According to German dailies, Schumi is having talks of upwards of $40 million with Mercedes to drive for the team. Lets wait and watch.


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