Grapevine: Schumacher Denies Ferrari Pay Cut Rumours

Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher denied today that Ferrari had asked him to take a pay cut if he stays with the Italian team after 2004.

Grapevine: Schumacher Denies Ferrari Pay Cut Rumours

Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher denied today that Ferrari had asked him to take a pay cut if he stays with the Italian team after 2004.

"I don't know anything about a pay cut," the 34-year-old German told a news conference ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix when asked about media reports. "I have a contract until the end of next year and that is the situation."

Schumacher is the highest paid driver in Formula One, earning $50 million a year according to some estimates, and one of the wealthiest sportsmen in the world. He said he had a standing offer to remain at Ferrari after his existing contract expires and added that he could not envisage racing for any other team.

Germany's Die Welt newspaper last week quoted Schumacher's manager Willi Weber as saying that he had received an offer from Ferrari for Schumacher to extend his contract.

"I basically have the offer, down to my decision, to stay on if I want to stay on," said Schumacher, winner of a record 64 Grands Prix including 11 last season. "I think that is the best compliment I can have from the team and that's basically what Willi has referred to. Whenever it is time to sit together, then we will do so.

"But even for myself, it is a bit too early. For certain decisions, the right moment will come automatically and we will take a decision. There is no time frame on my side.

"I know where I want to stay, I know Ferrari would like me to stay so it's just a matter of finding the right moment to see if everything is exactly the way we both want and if we want to continue even for a longer time. I don't see any other team I would race for in Formula One," added the five times World Champion.

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