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The 1998 silly season

WHILE most teams are worrying about what to do next year, Ferrari is busily trying to conclude a new deal with MichaelĘSchumacher to keep the German at Maranello until the end of the 1998 season. In theory this should not be a difficult task as Schumacher has invested a great deal of effort to help Ferrari become more competitive and expects to be rewarded for that work with victories in 1997 and 1998.

Schumacher recently told German newspaper Sport Bild that he would "really be an idiot" not to stay with the team in 1998 because he would be handing his hard work to another driver.

McLaren does not want Schumacher to commit himself two years ahead. Although the team's results this year have been woeful, team boss Ron Dennis seems to think that the team will win races next year and wants to be in a position to sign Schumacher for 1998 - a suggestion which Mercedes-Benz management wants to hear. McLaren is keen to maintain Mercedes enthusiasm for F1 because the results this year have not had the top brass in Stuttgart jumping for joy.

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