Schumacher future secured at Ferrari with new deal

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER's future at Ferrari was secured on Tuesday after the German driver extended his contract until the end of the 2004 season.

Schumacher, who is in his sixth season at Ferrari, is now estimated to earn 20 million a-year with his new deal and he will be partnered by Rubens Barrichello after the Brazilian signed for an extra year.

Schumacher said: "I have often said before how well I get on here at Ferrari and that for me, the Scuderia is like a second family.

"I am very happy to have prolonged my stay by another two years and I hope that this continuation with the team will bring plenty of success.

"I had little doubt that I would do it, once Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, Paolo Martinelli and Rory Byrne had extended their contracts. The discussions took place in the same positive atmosphere which has typified our relationship and we soon reached an agreement."

Schumacher shot to stardom with Benetton, winning his first Formula One World Championship in 1994, adding a second a year later. Last year he won his third world crown as he denied Mika Hakkinen a place in the record book with a third straight title success.

Barrichello has extended his contract at Ferrari by another year despite rumors that the Italian team were ready to replace him with Finnish sensation Kimi Raikkonen.

Barrichello's future was uncertain after he was left unhappy with a team decision to allow Schumacher finish second ahead of him in the Austrian Grand Prix 10 days ago.

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