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Agnelli says Schumacher already signed for Ferrari

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Schumacher deal done claim Ferrari By Timothy Collings in Budapest FERRARI have signed Michael Schumacher, according to Giovanni Agnelli, chairman of their parent company, Fiat. Agnelli was quoted by an Italian news agency yesterday as...

Schumacher deal done claim Ferrari By Timothy Collings in Budapest

FERRARI have signed Michael Schumacher, according to Giovanni Agnelli, chairman of their parent company, Fiat.

Agnelli was quoted by an Italian news agency yesterday as saying the Formula One world champion had signed for the 1996 season.

However, Schumacher himself, preparing for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, denied the claim, saying: "I have not decided anything at all."

According to the Milan daily newspaper Il Giorno, which first reported Schumacher's transfer from Benetton to Ferrari a week ago, the world champion signed a two-year contract worth $24 million (£15.4 million) a year.

Commenting on Ferrari's chances of winning the world title next year, Agnelli said: "When you have such a driver as Schumacher, if you don't win it's the team's fault."

Schumacher, 26, the world championship leader, is expected to replace Frenchman Jean Alesi, and team up with Austrian Gerhard Berger.

According to published reports Alesi may move to Benetton-Renault, thus trading places with Schumacher, who has been driving with the Italian-French team since 1992.

Reply to Electronic Telegraph - et@telegraph.co.uk Electronic Telegraph is a Registered Service Mark of The Telegraph plc http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

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