Ferrari may call on Michael Schumacher's services to help integrate Kimi Raikkonen fully with their operation this year, according to team boss Jean Todt.
Although Raikkonen has spent time at the Maranello factory, he has yet to drive one of the Italian team's cars and there remain uncertainties about how his working practices will blend in with Ferrari.
That doubt is one reason why Todt believes that Schumacher could play a vital role in helping improve the link between the Finn and Ferrari's team management.
Speaking in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, Todt said that the team were looking forward to a long future with Raikkonen - and that any help Schumacher could bring to help that happen in his new advisory role would be welcome.
"We didn't hire Raikkonen because Schumacher decided to leave racing," said Todt. "We had to think about the future and Raikkonen was the driver best suited to Ferrari's ambitions. He's very strong, quick, and his age - 27 years old - allows for many years of work at Ferrari.
"Any comparison [between Raikkonen and Schumacher] would be out of place (though). I've just mentioned Raikkonen's characteristics, and they are of the first level whichever way you look at it.
"But, we don't know how we'll work together. Raikkonen is still a question mark here. But this is where Schumacher could intervene in his new role."
Todt added: "We intend to take advantage of Schumacher's knowledge and experience, which I consider unique in the world. It's an asset not to be lost, at the service of Ferrari and their drivers."
Todt is clear that the responsibility to make Raikkonen a winner falls on Ferrari, who must deliver him a good car for 2007. The team's new challenger is set to be launched this weekend, prior to first testing at Fiorano next week.
"A great driver needs a great car," continued Todt. "Schumacher wouldn't have won 72 GPs with Ferrari if he didn't have a great team made of excellent professionals and if he didn't race with a very strong car. We'll do the utmost to put Raikkonen and Massa in those same conditions."