Luca di Montezemolo expects Michael Schumacher to join Mercedes

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Luca di Montezemolo reckons Schumacher is heading for Mercedes
Luca di Montezemolo reckons Schumacher is heading for Mercedes

Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo has given the strongest indication yet that Michael Schumacher may make a return to F1 with Mercedes next year. He said:

It seems he has a twin brother, identical in every way, who seems to have it in his head to go and race in Formula 1 with Mercedes. I don?t know him personally, but it seems we have nothing to offer him.
Luca di Montezemolo

Schumacher was on the verge of signing a contract extension with Ferrari which would have made a return for Mercedes impossible. With Montezemolo content for him to leave them the largest stumbling block to his return in 2010 is potentially removed.

Here’s more of what Montezemolo said:

He real Schumacher, the one I know, will remain forever part of the Ferrari family. I said it in Monza and I repeated it in Abu Dhabi.

But, it seems he has a twin brother, identical in every way, who seems to have it in his head to go and race in Formula 1 with Mercedes. I don?t know him personally, but it seems we have nothing to offer him: we have two young drivers in Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, on whom we are counting to deliver a lot next year.

Joking apart, Michael?s current role revolves around the development of our road cars, including the important phase which saw us launch the 458 Italia, which is the essence of technology and owes a lot to research carried out on track with the Formula 1 car. I think that, this summer, when I asked him to stand in for Felipe, after the terrible accident in Budapest, he suddenly rediscovered the desire to race and the fact he was unable to follow through with that, left him a void that we are unable to fill.

I remember how despondent he sounded on the evening of 9 August, when he called me to say that the problem with his neck meant he could not race in Valencia. It?s lucky that, despite the unsporting stance of some, we were able to run him in the 2007 car at Mugello, otherwise Michael would not have been fully aware of his situation. We have tried to move forward with the idea of running a third car, but for the moment, that is not possible.

I don?t know what he will decide for the future, but I extend to him and indeed his twin brother, my very best wishes.
Luca di Montezemolo

Is Schumacher really about to make a shock return after three years out of the cockpit?

Read more: Michael Schumacher: the Mercedes years

Image (C) Ferrari spa

81 comments on “Luca di Montezemolo expects Michael Schumacher to join Mercedes”

  1. Looks like the return of Schumacher is upon us :)

    1. Do you think he’s told the Ferrari fans, that Santa doesn’t exist?

      They do have a passionate fan base, I hope some don’t vilify him. I can’t wait to see the Brits vs Ze Germans again on track. It’s gonna be great! :)

  2. Last time was very rushed so if he is going to make a comeback it will be now. First he needs to actually put things in motion as soon as that happens I feel that is it he will sign and race.
    I still don’t expect him to do it. Maybe I’m sceptical but it seems more and more likely.
    Personally if it happens I’m gutted for Nick Heidfeld missing out on the Merc drive.

    1. Would be sad if Heidfelds’ not on the grid next year.

      1. I’m sure most F1 fans, whether they are MS fans or not, would rather see Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Vettel, etc race against Multi-Champion Schumacher than Hapless Heidfeld.

      2. The guy just has no luck. I wouldn’t blame him if he put a Schumacher pic on his wall to throw darts at it.

  3. It’s lucky that, despite the unsporting stance of some

    Since when has Luca displayed sporting behavior?

  4. It seems he has a twin brother

    Ralf?

    1. It can’t be Ralf as Luca said

      identical in every way

      and Ralf can’t drive for **** :-)

      1. We have a few comedians on here tonight!
        :P :D :)

        1. Thank you thank you, I try :)

  5. @KlBD, of course not! he’s talking about the two personalities os schumacher, the consolting agent of ferrari and de race driver.

    It’s seems we will have one of the best seasons in f1 since 92′.

    1. Thank you for clearing that for us

    2. 92 was a treat for Nigel Mansell & Williams fans. Otherwise it was pretty one-sided. And most importantly Prost was missing from the 92 season, just like Kimi for next year :(

      Best F1 season for me personally was 1991 when Senna & Mansell fought splendidly.

      1. Terry Fabulous
        18th December 2009, 20:32

        Yeah much as I hate to say this, I AGREE WITH MP4-19B!!!

        1992 wasn’t a classic season. 1989, that’s where the action was.

        1. I always think fondly of 1989, because that’s when I started watching F1.

          1. Good year to start. Plenty of action, a bitter teammate rivalry with two of the best drivers ever and a controversial end.

    3. I know haha, but I just couldn’t resist! :]

  6. José Baudaier
    18th December 2009, 20:11

    I guess that Montezemolo must be a little disappointed with himself. He could have signed Schumi and Massa for 2010 if he had notice this “twin brother” inside Schumacher. Not that Alonso isn’t a great driver, but he’s not Schumi.

    1. Alonso will prove the kind of driver he is in 2010. I’ve got a feeling Montezemolo would have absolutely no regrets next year this time.

  7. Similar stance as Steph for me regarding this, it will deffo be exciting but I’m still a little sceptical. For the sport and to see him race against the best of 2010 yes please, but for Heidfeld and his potential Merc drive no thank you.

  8. Damn, if he had a twin brother. I’d sign both of them, and forget Alonso and Massa. :D

    1. But each one would want all the better parts / electronic bits (;)), so it will just be an endless paradox that will make the Earth implode.

      1. good one Matthew!

  9. Love him or hate him, I don’t see how anyone interested in F1 isn’t getting just a tad giddy by this point.

    1. I KNOWWWWW

      i hate the phrase golden age, i despise its every conotation but

      GOLDEN AGE

  10. I really hope schumi’s twin races next year, and gets beaten by alonso just like his brother did. If Alonso doesnt get the job done, im sure hamilton and vettel will make schumi’s brother cry and leave formula1 mid season.

  11. The point Montezemolo makes is that whatever happens in the future can not detract from Schumachers achievemants at Ferrari in the past, and that the record books will always show a union of success. I think he doubts Schumachers ability to make anything like the same impression on the track with Mercedes, hense the references that differentiate between two entities.
    Although I do feel excited about his return, I would be suprised if Michael can find the pace to live with Rosberg let alone Hammilton, Button, Alonso Massa and Vettel. I think the twin brother Montezemolo refers to may be an also ran!!!

  12. I read the autosport article regarding Luca’s comments.

    In that it is stated that Schumacher’s return is not being stopped by Ferrari. Mercedez and Schumi are both willing for the contract. The only road-block is Michael’s neck. If that is OK, then we DO have Schumi next year.

  13. I’ve read in between all the lines possible and I can unequivocally tell you Schumi is coming back!
    Normally one would assume Merc, being a new sort of team are trying to piggy back on Schumi publicity to help them keep the buzz until they announce their line up, but with McLaren staging a coup by snatching the reigning chap, Merc knows their job is cut out for them and the only way they can respond is by staging an even bigger coup. And which better coup would beat the Merc one than a Schumi comeback!!

    The great one is upon us!! 83Days, 8Hours 51Minutes remaining to the first F1 action. I cannot wait!!!!

  14. Haven’t we heard all this rubbish before?

    The bit about the interview I thought was the most revealing was when he told Alonso there would be none of his usual unsporting shenanigans allowed at Ferrari:

    “I spoke about these elements with Domenicali maybe 1,000 times, not 100 times, 1,000 times,” he said.

    In the end Di Montezemolo sat down with Alonso and spelt out the situation. “I spoke with him and I told him that if you come to drive for us, it’s because we want you, you drive for a team, you drive for a group, you don’t drive for yourself,” he said. “In Ferrari we want to put you in the best condition to win. If not, we will never hire you. We know that you can win the championship — we will do our best — but you are part of it.”

    1. It seems they knew who they were doing business with.

  15. He smelled an easy way to clinch another title, just like Prost in 1993. I wonder how big is his ego that seven titles and 90+ victories is not enough?!

    1. If Schumacher thinks Mercedes will have an advantage the size of Williams in ’93 he’s likely to be mistaken. For most of the 1993 season, Prost qualified 1-2 seconds faster than the nearest non-Williams driver. That sort of time difference is likely to cover most of the grid in 2010.

  16. Wow, how long can we drag this out? Come on! I’m salivating more at the prospect of this by the day!” And it would mean we have both an all-British AND an all-German team on the grid!

  17. Really looking forward to the return of MS, I dont think he would return unless he thought he would be very competetive. I dont think he would have gone out and got a superbike licence unless he still wanted to race, and look at Lance Armstrong, older guys clearly can compete fitness wise against younger men.

    Martin Brundle (I think) made a comment a while back that he’d been talking to Robert Kubica about a fun karting day that the F1 drivers had this summer, Martin asked which driver won, and Robert said something like, we’re F1 drivers, we’re all very competetive and Martin asked him again, and Robert just said Michael won.

    I think next year will be great, very tough for a podium.

  18. So Schumacher’s coming back for one year – then what?
    or even so what?

    I’m really getting bored with this

  19. I think after Luca’s comment that is the final nail in the coffin.Schumi is coming back,but I hope he continuous at least 2-3 years if he is fit.

    1. YES
      I think 2 years in a mercedes cockpit untill Vettel takes over.

      Mercedes long term plan is obviously not to make the same mistake they made with Schuey.

  20. when is his FIA medical examination on the neck???!!!

  21. It’s lucky that, despite the unsporting stance of some, we were able to run him in the 2007 car at Mugello

    He just couldn’t let it lie could he… he just couldn’t let it lie $:)

  22. Heidfeld should sign with Sauber as soon as he can.
    Pi**ing about waiting for Schui and Merc to finalise their love in will cost him a seat.

  23. but lets think about this slowly…

    why Michael?

    91 wins , 7 WDC… nothing really to gain…

    and come back for only one year? in a brand new team?

    you don’t need the money, so why? 12 months time will the burning fire go away?

    ive been watching F1 since 1987, and im a big fan of Michael, but this is a dangerous move… personally, the biggest draw-card for Michael is what Ross Brawn is telling him; i think he trusts Ross explicitly ..

    and Michael will be 3-5 tenths faster than Button, imagine where the car might end up if it ain’t half-bad… Ross did say they started working on the 2010 car very early
    mmmmmmmm

    we’ll see

    Steve

    1. I wouldn’t call it a brand new team, all they’ve done is change the name, maybe put a few new people in.

      And Michael 1/2 a second faster than Button? I doubt it.

    2. but this is a dangerous move

      Why? The people in the racing world whose opinions he cares about will not suddenly change their opinions about his skill and talent just because the Brawn/Mercedes car turns out to be slower in 2010.

      Some short-sighted “fans” or F1 followers may jump on him a little bit, and no doubt this and other boards will overflow with discussions, but I’m sure he’s beyond all of that.

      He has nothing to prove, he can just drive to enjoy himself. Which is fantastic for all.

    3. He wants 100 wins.

      1. Difficult, they would have to do a Brawn and win the first 9 races

  24. I normally try not to take sides with any particular team. I love the sport, I love the drivers. I’m happy to say that I was alive to witness, although it might have been boring and redundant, one of the greatest team/driver pairings in Schu/Ferrari.

    Sad thing is, Michael was the biggest reason that team came back to the top of the sport. I think it was a shame that they practically forced his retirement to secure Kimi for the following year. I have nothing against Kimi, great driver, won them the championship, now what? Now you bring in Alonso who’s had a rough past with Massa already, I sense another disaster like what happened with McLaren.

    More than anything I’d just like to see Michael and Ross back together again in competitive form, and if nothing else, just beat Ferrari every race. That’s pretty tough for me to say being a Ferrari fan, but I don’t think he deserved to be forced into retirement.

    As far as Nick goes, if he was going to join Merc, he’d have done it along time ago. Fact of the matter is, there’s always been someone better. Kimi, Montoya, Alonso, Lewis, and even Heikki.

  25. he’s back FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. As much as I am a fan of Schumi, I don’t want him to come back. I would be happy to remember Brazil 2006 as his last F1 race. Seeing him comeback and being beaten by Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg and others is a disaster. Not sure why he wants to race again at 41. Anyway…. it is Michael and Brawn they might pull a rabbit out of the hat. If that happens….. great….. Yeh it is true that if Luca had not forced him out he would have retired with 8 WDC.

  27. I am not a big fan of McLaren and I do not like Ferrari but about Michael, I mean, even if he fails to emerge among top drivers next year that doesn’t erase his past performances.I think now I will be able support him openly.

    1. I MEAN HE IS A LEGEND AND WILL REMAIN SO FORVER. Only one years performance will not effect his image.

    2. Just a bit change here I AM A BIG FAN OF McLaren.

  28. *Fingers crossed*
    Now if only we could get Kimi on the grid next year, we’d have Schuey, Nando, Kimi, Lewis & Vettel going head to head. What a season that would be !

    1. But bad news for you Kimi isn’t coming back next year.

  29. i agree.. dont see kimi making a comeback. Im a huge fan of his, but I am hugely disappointed with his greed and lack of character. What a sad end to a career of one of the best drivers i have ever seen.

    1. “Greed”? “Lack of character”? He’s doing what he wanted to do. Cannot blame him for that.

      And as for career, he’s staring another one. Don’t know how successful he will be, but we’ll see.

  30. Can anyone tell me, If Michael has any experience of “no-refueling during race”? Or only Barrichello on the 2010 grid has that experience?

    1. Schumacher made his F1 debut for Jordan at Spa in 1991, completed the rest of the year for Benetton and stayed with the team for the next two full years. In race refuelling was then introduced for 1994, so Schumacher had two and a half seasons of driving a GP distance without refuelling.

      Barrichello made his debut (also for Jordan) in 1993 so had one season’s worth of experience.

    2. Yep and he won two races in that time. I think the second of those, At Portugal in 1993, is one of his most underrated wins. He stayed out on worn tyres and kept Prost behind him. Classy stuff.

      1. José Baudaier
        19th December 2009, 18:59

        I wonder how Schumacher would have done if the refuelling have never been used in F1. He wouldn’t have the “drive like there’s no tomorrow in the laps prior to the pit stop” tatic that gave him so many wins. At least the ’94 championship – with the alledge “modified for increased throughput” fuel hose that set Verstapen on fire – can be doubted.

  31. The sad thing, is though someone earlier mentioned Heidfeld as hapless, he certainly isn’t. A Schumacher comeback is the most exciting F1 news we could have, but Quick Nick has got to be the unluckiest driver out there now. So many podiums, and seconds, 4 second place finishes in 08! And no top line drive, no win yet, and for the second time in his career it looks like he is about to get shafted by Mercedes. If he’s going to have a picture of MS to throw darts at, he should get one of Norbert Haug too hahaha.

  32. Juan Pablo Heidfeld
    19th December 2009, 10:34

    Surely the solution to all this is to get Heidfeld and Schumi in an F1 car and see who’s quicker

  33. I don’t see why people thinks it is a disaster for Schumacher to come back, from my point of view he can only win. If he fails to compete with Nico Rosberg (which we can assume will be his point of reference), Schumacher can simply blame it on the age. There is no doubt he used to be one of the fastest drivers out there, so by going in again when he is 41 and still be competitive can only show how good he really was. Schumacher will have a whole season without any pressure to just go out and enjoy himself and do what he loves the most; racing.

    I’ve never been a Schumacher fan, but I’m glad to see he is back and I’m very excited for the 2010 season!

    1. People will be expecting him to win and nothing else, and when he start to have bad races (because of the age) then people will think that he’s not fast or any good (or ever was).
      Remeber that people tend to forget history very quickly

  34. As Brakus pointed out earlier, Montezemolo has screwed the pooch twice with Schumy; forcing him out the first time, and now not rehiring him in favor of Alonso.

    And this is the guy who originally said Schumy could drive for Ferrari forever. Can’t understand why he wouldn’t bring him back instead of hiring Fred, unless he truly believes he’s past his sell date.

    As for Schumy’s reasons for wanting a come back, I have to believe it’s his flat out love of the sport and the competition. I also think he wants to have the 100 wins Kieth mentioned, but also to claim championships with more than 2 manufacturer’s ala Fangio.

    When (not if) he comes back I’ll definitely be pulling for him, as long as his tactics stay “sporting”.

    This will be the best F1 Xmas present in a long time!

  35. Although all the signs are that Schumacher is set to race for Mercedes next year I still won’t believe it until it is official.

    While I doubt he will be at his best if he does come back I hope he is at least competitive even though I am not a fan of his.

  36. And regarding Montezemolo’s comments, I think it was a pleasant and humorous way of acknowleding the fact Schumy had notified him that he’s going to Mercedes.

    He could have taken a truly nasty approach, but it was a rather graceful way of recognizing reality.

  37. I doubt he will return because of his neck injury – I reckon most of this is publicity for F1. If he does return, he won’t beat the young top guys. I wish people would calm down.

    1. Ironically, there was just as much excitement at the thought of Kimi going to McLaren, a guy who has struggled over the past two years to beat his rivals, as there is now over Schumacher going to Mercedes, a guy who was winning up until his last races.

      I see no reason to expect anything either way from Schumacher, but I’d bet on him being competitive more than him flopping. That’s why people are excited. They all know there’s a chance he might not do well. But what if he does?

  38. Don’t write him off because of age. All Fangio’s world championships were in his 40’s, Andretti was 38 when his won his world Championship, Mansel 39 for his and the Indi crown at 40. Experience counts for a lot in F1 and always has….. no one is more experienced than Michael. If he has the motivation I’m sure he will do very well and I’m pretty sure the motivation is there, because as everyone keeps saying he’s no other reason to come back. I think it will stir things up nicely.

    1. no one is more experienced than Michael.

      Apart from Rubens! But really, I agree with your post.

    2. And next years regs means it won’t be flat out sprints 100% of the time as it has been with re-fueling – they’ll have to take it comparatively easy at some stages of the race or risk chewing up tyres – again this will be to MS’s advantage in his more senior years :)

  39. wong chin kong
    19th December 2009, 14:38

    M Schumacher coming back? Good and very exciting. Schu’s long time team mate Rubens will be racing for Williams next year. Oh boy, Rubens would like very much to beat and flatten Schu to the ground. Remember how Rubens was made to play second fiddle in his Ferrari days to Schumi. It is important in fact face saving for Schumi to win at least one race next year, if not, he should hang up his boots for good.

  40. Even though he is a cheater, he is the greatest living driver and I hope this happens. Seeing him up against Hamilton and the other drivers that have joined F1 since his departure, as well as the veterans, will be fantastic.
    A few interesting things are that his biggest rival will be racing for his former team, and he won’t have the advantage of Ferrari’s exemption from the rules.

    1. a cheater?

      senna told everybody the day before he was going to crash into prost at suzuka?

      as senna said

      ‘racing is war’

      has michael made mistakes, yes he is human and determined to win…

      auz 94 , even prost said his move was fair

      97 , he had a split second to accept JV’s dive… he made a mistake…

      but the one ive never figured out, was monaco06… it made no sense and i cant figure out what happened there…… i’d love to ask michael that to his face

      Steve

  41. He dosent have a walking stick u know and kimi was fast but made a lot of careless mistakes hungry 06 crashing into backmarker

  42. FERRARI can be happy because they have in the team to the unique driver that win to Michael and take two championship. He is Fernando Alonso… probably championship of F1 in the next 2010.

  43. Merc simply have to beat Mclaren….

    I am looking forward to seeing which engineers they poach from Mclaren and Ferrari….

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