Schumacher to help Ferrari select drivers

Michael Schumacher's new role at Ferrari will involve selecting the team's drivers of the future and to be a "super-assistant" to CEO Jean Todt, the team revealed today

Schumacher to help Ferrari select drivers

The German driver retired from racing after last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, after 16 years in Formula One. His place will be taken by Finn Kimi Raikkonen who will join Felipe Massa after leaving McLaren.

"Michael has always been interested in following young drivers," said Todt at a press conference in Monza, where Ferrari are holding their traditional end-of-season celebrations.

"I have one of them next to me: I remember Michael talking to me about Felipe when he still was in lesser series.

"He also talked to me about Kimi before he entered F1 so he has a unique eye, and it will be important to allow us to make choices on the drivers of the future and also to follow the current drivers.

"Michael is one of the greatest drivers in the history of motor racing. He has a unique knowledge of racing, so we'll try to take advantage of his knowledge in the best way to take choices for the team at a sporting and technical level.

"He will be very close to us while he won't have any particular obligation to be present neither in the factory nor at the races nor at private tests.

"He will be an indispensable interface in the process of taking decisions for the future of Ferrari's sporting arm.

"Finally, as he's done up to now, he will make his contribution on the definition of the road cars."

Schumacher said he is looking forward to have some rest before getting in the thick of things with his new role.

"I don't think right now there is any need to specify in concrete terms exactly how and what [I will do]," he said.

"Jean has just said what I'm interested in and where Ferrari feel I could be helpful. I'm very happy to be involved in this way but I look forward first of all to get some rest for a few months and then I'll have a much clearer view on what I'd like to have.

"I'm so happy that Ferrari give me this opportunity. As it's always been, Ferrari gave me the confidence but also gave me the freedom to reach decisions and come to terms in common agreement. That's something very unique and I just think after now I deserve a couple of months to get myself clear."

Todt also explained how Schumacher was involved in the choice of Raikkonen.

"The choice of Kimi was taken together with Michael. He was always informed on a daily basis of the discussions we had. He knew before and during the meetings, and knew of the decision. So it wasn't a decision taken suddenly without informing him and he's always agreed with this choice.

"I read many things about his role within the team. What is certain is that we've taken many decision together with Michael and that's one of the reasons why we're very thankful to him for carrying on giving his experience in Ferrari's sporting future."

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo added: "I'm very happy that Michael will continue to work with us and to share our choices and contributing to them and this is important.

"Even if he won't be inside the cockpit, his experience and his professionalism will be very useful for the future of Ferrari.

"Michael will be Todt's de-facto super-assistant for certain things."

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