Di Montezemolo's decision delights Schumacher

FERRARI president Luca di Montezemolo's decision not to take up a post in the Italian government has relieved the team's star driver Michael Schumacher.

Newly-elected Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had offered Di Montezemolo a position in his office, but it was declined following a plea to stay from the Ferrari and Maserati employees.

"This is very important," said Schumacher. "As important as the work done in ensuring stability within the team.

"Montezemolo has always been a help to us. From the moment I came here I have always had his 100% support.

"Even though he is not involved in the technical detail he has always backed us each and every time we needed it to develop the car in order improve, in short, to make it go quicker."

Team manager Jean Todt, along with technical director Ross Brawn, chef designer Rory Byrne and engine designer Paolo Martinelli have all pledged their allegiance to the team until the end of 2004.

Di Montezemolo's decision means that there is continued stability at the team overall, and for Schumacher that could be the deciding factor on the renewal of his contract after 2002.

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