With the announcement this morning that Michael Schumacher, Jean Todt and other key members of Ferrari's current team have extended contracts until the end of 2006, president Luca di Montezemolo said stability and continuity are the most important...
With the announcement this morning that Michael Schumacher, Jean Todt and other key members of Ferrari's current team have extended contracts until the end of 2006, president Luca di Montezemolo said stability and continuity are the most important things.
"Ferrari's success over the past few years is based on the great professionalism of the team," he explained. "In my opinion, maintaining stability and providing continuity are the most important things. This month, Todt completes eleven seasons with Ferrari and Schumacher is the driver who has been with the team for the longest time, as well as being the one who has brought us the most victories."
"By the end of 2006, he will have been at the front line for Ferrari for ten years. However, a strong team is made up of a group of people: Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, Paolo Martinelli and Gilles Simon have done an exceptional job over the years and behind them, other gifted engineers are growing in stature and they represent our future."
Di Montezemolo was also happy to lay to rest the rumours about Schumacher's future; there had been speculation he would retire when his earlier contract expired at the end of 2004.
"The mood here is calm with little excitement over the renewal of contracts, even if, as is easily understandable, there is no lack of "siren" calls from the market, in an area where everyone wants to win and there are few excellent specialists," he said.
"I am also pleased to nip in the bud speculation as to Schumacher's future. He is motivated and feels strong and that is the best answer to so many various rumours. As for Barrichello, the question does not arise, as there has never been speculation about his retirement. It will eventually come down to a choice as to how we tackle 2005, but at the moment we have barely reached the mid-point of the 2003 season!"