Luca di Montezemolo expects Michael Schumacher to join Mercedes

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

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

  1. John H said on 19th December 2009, 3:17

    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 $:)

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    • George said on 19th December 2009, 5:02

      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.

    • Hakka said on 19th December 2009, 5:53

      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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th December 2009, 10:08

      He wants 100 wins.

  4. Brakius said on 19th December 2009, 3:49

    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.

  5. schmacherfan said on 19th December 2009, 6:02

    he’s back FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. *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 !

  9. Todfod said on 19th December 2009, 7:59

    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.

    • “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.

  10. sumedh said on 19th December 2009, 8:15

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

    • 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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th December 2009, 10:09

      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.

      • José Baudaier said on 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.

  11. Adam Tate said on 19th December 2009, 10:25

    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.

  12. Juan Pablo Heidfeld said on 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

  13. Gustav said on 19th December 2009, 10:35

    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!

    • luigismen said on 19th December 2009, 20:33

      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

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. S Hughes said on 19th December 2009, 11:51

    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.

    • Icthyes said on 19th December 2009, 12:37

      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?

  18. 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.

    • David A said on 19th December 2009, 20:31

      no one is more experienced than Michael.

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

    • 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 :)

  19. wong chin kong said on 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.

  20. usF1fan said on 19th December 2009, 19:14

    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.

    • Steve said on 20th December 2009, 5:16

      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

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