Currently reading: Ferrari confirms Schuey/Merc
Luca di Montezemolo says talks are progressing

Michael Schumacher has told Ferrari that there is a "very, very, very strong possibility" he will race for Mercedes-Benz in F1 next year, team president Luca di Montezemolo has revealed.

"I hadn't spoken to him [Schumacher] since Abu Dhabi but I spoke to him on Wednesday," said di Montezemolo.

"He phoned me and he told me that there is a very, very, very strong possibility [of racing for Mercedes-Benz]. Having said that, it is not 100 per cent decided. But that is what he said yesterday morning."

Di Montezemolo confirmed that Ferrari had agreed to release Schumacher from any remaining commitments he had to the Italian team so he could make the switch to Mercedes-Benz in the event of a deal coming off.

Reports suggest the only thing holding up the deal is confirmation that Schumacher's neck has sufficiently healed, following a big motorbike accident earlier this year. It was the legacy of that injury which forced him to abandon a comeback for Ferrari in the middle of this season.

When asked what he had said to Schumacher during their conversation, di Montezemolo said: "Don't forget that when you start collaboration with a driver as long ago as we did with Michael, in 1995, over 14 years ago, you are also a friend.

"You can agree and disagree but you remain friends. I won't forget what he did for Ferrari and he won't forget what we did for him."

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Richard H 21 December 2009

Re: Ferrari confirms Schuey/Merc plan

Richard H wrote:
And Merc will have German cheat

It was a tongue in cheek comment

One hell of a long post there.

For the record, my favorite driver of all time isn't British, because the nationality of a driver is unimportant. It's Keke Rosberg, before you ask.

It's the way a driver drives and whether he is a competitor and sportsman that counts.

I am tired of the whole will he comeback saga and hope its resolved one way or the other soon.

theop 21 December 2009

Re: Ferrari confirms Schuey/Merc plan

overall good news for the sport, but...

am I the only one who finds all this "german drivers for the german team" and a whole emphasis on reinforced national identity in sport slightly concerning?

whiffs a bit like 1932 again.... and we know what happened next....

VirginPower 21 December 2009

Re: Ferrari confirms Schuey/Merc plan

Richard H wrote:
And Merc will have German cheat

And McLaren will have its English cheats. And Virgin will have its English cheat. And so on and so forth.

What would make this interesting for people genuinely engrossed in Formula One, and not just for people who want to play irrelevant patriotic handbags, is to ask the scholarly and informed what stories of scandals and infringements they have to tell.

Missing fragments of F1's history would be of great interest to all of those who understand and love Formula One as the wonderfully political and Machiavellian sport it is. Then, perhaps, Richard's bias (which is also displayed by others) wouldn't keep appearing as a singular, neurotic obsession with a hate-figure.

If it is true that there are people who see an F1 driver's nationality as in any way significant, then I see those people's opinions as hugely discredited and mostly rendered worthless. They simply do not understand the sport, and would do better to wait quietly for Wimbledon, or next Saturday's Match Of The Day.

I am proud, to some extent, that there is something long-proven in English and British society and character that makes this country the technical centre of Formula One excellence, but the last thing I consider when judging a Grand Prix driver is his nationality.

In most cases, a team's national identity is difficult to discern and of hardly any importance where it is discernable. Of course, the Tifosi would disagree with me, but I have to admit that I have the perspective of an Englishman. Formula One is perhaps the only sport where one unreservedly admires greatness wherever it is, unhindered by the psychological disorder of jingoism.

Alonso is surely the most sinister character in Formula One, and although I tend not to like his character in many ways, I actually find his antics and wry distain for any moral judgements upon his actions highly amusing. What I respect about him, however, is that beyond his arch ego, he is the new model of a highly intelligent, skilful, forceful and dominant figure who demands and engenders massive team development and pace.

Button has none of these qualities to any large measure. Hamilton - perhaps not the last degree of perspective and smartness. Vettel, however, is the coming man, in whom all of these aspects are refined, and I predict he will take the place vacated by Schumacher and Senna when they departed Formula One.

Yet, the man who still best personifies all of these qualities is Schumacher, and, I'll say again, for anyone to dismiss his value at whatever period of Grand Prix racing is an insult to meaningful discussion.