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. 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!

  2. Simone said on 19th December 2009, 0:06

    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.

  3. manatcna said on 19th December 2009, 0:55

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

    I’m really getting bored with this

  4. wasiF1 said on 19th December 2009, 1:50

    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.

    • Scribe said on 20th December 2009, 14:48

      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.

  5. sato113 said on 19th December 2009, 2:05

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

  6. 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 $:)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    he’s back FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. *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 !

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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