Dear Friends,

As has probably some of you did, I have also read the news of my "retirement" from WTCC which has appeared, at various times, on news channels on the subject and I feel that a more precise information is needed since the perception from the reported news misrepresents, in my opinion, not only my real thoughts but also the way things happened.

I have been running in WTCC since 2005 in a prestigious programme organized by BMW Italy and, despite being certain of giving a lot to the series in terms of communication and media exposure due to a popularity that goes beyond what I achieved as a sportsman, I recognize that I also had a lot in return from the series and to have found in it the ideal ground to win with the hard work my new challenges.

The level of competitiveness extremely high, the value of opponents that I challenged, the difficulty and beauty of the race tracks we battled on and the difficult task of combining all this with my objective personal problems make my victories in WTCC some of the best results I achieved in my career.

This is the reason while I would be happy to keep on racing in a category that for a driver can be rightly considered as an end point and not necessarily a transition point. But probably (nothing is decided yet) strategic choices of BMW Italy will not allow me to do so and that is all.

I answered to a precise question from a journalist in Macau that at 99% I will not be racing in WTCC in 2010. This does not mean announcing my retirement at all but instead giving an honest answer to a precise question that, avoiding rhetoric, implies a bit of regret for what this will involve.

I do not know what I am gonna do next year, what is certain is that I see myself still too "young" and strong to hang up my racing helmet. On the contrary, I hope I can find together with BMW the way to keep challenging, even more directly and without excuses, the strongest opponents even if this will mean risking to get a good beating ... I could not ask for anything better!

I will fill you in, ciaoooooo!