OCTOBER 9, 2000

Schumacher is World Champion

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER won the 2000 World Championship at Suzuka on Sunday. The Ferrari driver scored a narrow victory over Mika Hakkinen after a close race between the two in Japan. But Schumacher's success may make life difficult for Ferrari as the existing technical team could break up as a result of the success. Rory Byrne has been wanting to retire for some years but has been convinced to stay on, while other engineers are interested in returning to Britain having spent a lot of time in Italy.

After Schumacher's victory Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said that he has now fulfilled his ambitions with Ferrari. "We've had four really tough years at Ferrari and this hard-fought victory is a dream come true," said Brawn. "When I came to Ferrari, this was my ambition and to achieve this championship title is the end to that ambition at last."

Brawn and Byrne are under contract to Ferrari until May 2002 but with the 2001 car already designed it is possible that both men could move on. There are several other Ferrari employees who may decide to move on, notably electronics man TadÊCzapski and team coordinator Nigel Stepney.