Schumacher Discussing Contract Extension

Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is talking to Ferrari about staying on after 2006

Schumacher Discussing Contract Extension

Asked whether team boss Jean Todt had talked to him about eventual replacements, the 36-year-old German told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper on Thursday that the main discussion had been about his own future.

"To tell you the truth, Jean at the moment is talking with me about extending my contract," he said. "Sometimes we talk about drivers, but in very general terms."

His spokeswoman confirmed that was the case.

Schumacher, the most successful driver in the history of the sport, said however that Spaniard Fernando Alonso, Renault's Championship leader, would be a good choice as eventual replacement.

"I consider him, (McLaren's Kimi) Raikkonen, (Sauber's Felipe) Massa and (Williams' Mark) Webber to be very good drivers," he said.

Of the four named, Todt has hinted at a preference for Raikkonen although Brazilian Massa is a former Ferrari test driver managed by his son Nicolas.

Alonso's manager Flavio Briatore, who is also the Renault team boss, has said the 23-year-old would never join Ferrari while Schumacher is still there but the German suggested there was another agenda there.

"Apart from the fact that I don't believe Todt has said he would like to have Alonso, I can only comment that Briatore is using Ferrari to make his driver more attractive and earn more. Business...," said Schumacher.

The seven times champion, who joined Ferrari in 1996, will be almost 38 when his contract expires. Asked regularly about retirement, he has said he intends to keep racing for as long as he is enjoying it.

At the launch of the new Ferrari in February, he even suggested he could keep on racing until he is 40.

"I don't think Michael will stop in 2006," Germany's Bild quoted his father Rolf as saying recently. "I have a feeling he will carry on."

Some have suggested however that he may quit sooner rather than later if Ferrari's long run of dominance comes to an end and younger rivals start to beat him on a regular basis.

Todt and other key Ferrari bosses such as technical director Ross Brawn also have contracts expiring at the end of 2006.

Schumacher has scored just two points in three races so far this season and needs to win Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Ferrari's home circuit, to get back into the Championship battle.

The German has won five times in the last six years at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit. Renault have won the first three races, with Alonso triumphant in the last two.

shares
comments
Q & A with Cosworth Managing Director
Previous article

Q & A with Cosworth Managing Director

Next article

Fisichella Gets Revised Engine for Imola

Fisichella Gets Revised Engine for Imola
Load comments
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021