He hasn’t got much left to prove and Formula One champion Michael
Schumacher has admitted he may not look for a new contract with Ferrari
after the upcoming season.
With Schu’s deal due to expire at the end of the 2006 season, the
37-year-old (and oldest driver on the grid) has hinted strongly that it
might be a good time to hang up his helmet.
But his comments appear to be designed to send a rocket up his under-performing team. Speaking to Der Spiegel, and reported in The Guardian,
the German seven-time F1 world champion admitted that his apathy
regarding 2007 and beyond was closely linked to whether Ferrari
improved this year.
After finishing a distant third with only one win (in a six-car race)
last year, Schu has accused his team of getting lazy and “standing
“If I don’t have the chance to win races and challenge for the title I
don’t think I’ll be very keen to extend my career,” he said. “If we
want to progress we need more staff. In formula one you cannot afford
to stand still. I want to know where we’re heading.”
To really make Ferrari bosses reach for their ulcer medication, he even
said he would make a decision midway through the year – a blunt warning
that the team needs to show energy and improvement quickly.
Kimi Raikkonen, who finished second to Fernando Alonso in last year’s
title, is rumoured to have been approached by Ferrari but reportedly
says he won’t make any decision on 2007 until he knows what
Schumacher’s plans are. Clearly, the Fin knows that to be driving
partner to Schumacher is to always be Robin to the German’s Batman and
so Kimi seems to be content to stay at McLaren for now.