DECEMBER 15, 2000
Ferrari president Montezemolo wants two more titles
Defining Schumacher as one of the best drivers in the world, on a par with Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna, Di Montezemolo has once again confessed his respect for the three-time world champion.
"I like Michael a lot and I will do everything possible for our collaboration to continue after his contract expires in 2002," declared the Ferrari president.
"He is the best driver I have ever seen, and I expect him to win the Drivers' title in the next two seasons."
A bonding relationship with the fans has always been a problem for Schumacher, but Di Montezemolo said that the important thing was that the German driver continues to win races.
He added: "The most important thing for me is that Schumacher is correct, drives fast, is close to the team and wins races. I do not care about the effect he has on other people and whether he appears to be arrogant or not."
Montezemolo also made a gesture of sportsmanship towards Ferrari's rivals McLaren-Mercedes, who narrowly lost out to the Italian manufacturer in this year's Constructors' battle.
He said: "I respect their performances and results. It is a great honour for Ferrari to have defeated a team like McLaren-Mercedes on the track."