Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Schumacher to test Mercedes prior to signing deal?

From Motorsport.com/GMM

Mercedes could organize a Formula One test for Michael Schumacher before he commits to returning to the grid in 2010, according to reports out of Italy and Germany. Citing the German newspaper Bild, the website of Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims a two-year old car could be made available to the 40-year-old, who had to call off his return for Ferrari this year due to neck pain. A two-year-old Mercedes GP car would presumably be the Brackley built 2007 Honda.

Despite the test restrictions, a precedent for tests in two-year-old cars with demonstration tyres was set in 2009 by Ferrari, who organized tests for Felipe Massa as well as Schumacher.

Reports also claim Schumacher is set to meet in the middle of this week with Luca di Montezemolo, but the Ferrari president has already indicated that the verbal agreement for a new three-year consultancy deal will not prevent the German from signing with Mercedes.

Asked in a Reuters news report if Schumacher's Ferrari deal would be enforced, the Italian replied: "No, (it's) not binding. "I still haven't spoken to him about it. He is only a dear friend, not a team member. He is a consultant for our road cars," added Montezemolo.

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