Honda website
Honda website

AUGUST 9, 2006

Whispers from Maranello

Our story on Monday suggesting that Michael Schumacher might retire did not get any official response from Ferrari but it did flush out a number of helpful remarks from people who are apparently in the know about what is happening at Maranello.

The word seems to be that Michael is not retiring and Jean Todt is not leaving the team, but that Michael will be partnered next year by Kimi Raikkonen, while Felipe Massa will become a very highly paid test driver for another year or two. At 25 Massa is still relatively young in F1 terms although seven of the 23 others drivers to have raced this year are younger (Fernando Alonso, Tonio Liuzzi, Sakon Yamamoto, Scott Speed, Christian Klien, Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg). Schumacher seems to have accepted that he will have equal status with Raikkonen next year and so will be able to measure himself against the Finn before he retires.

The risk is that Michael will be beaten - unlikely given that the team has been built around him - but he seems willing to go down that path in order to show that he can beat the best of them in equal machinery.