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di Montezemolo believes Schumacher 'twin' will return with Mercedes

NEWS STORY
18/12/2009

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has admitted that he believes Michael Schumacher will return to the F1 grid with Mercedes next year.

Speaking to members of the media at Ferrari's traditional Christmas lunch in Fiorano, di Montezemolo said: "I spoke to him yesterday Wednesday and he told me there is a very strong possibility but that it's not 100% decided."

While there has been much speculation in recent weeks, di Montezemolo is the most respected figure to speak out, the Italian having worked alongside Schumacher as he secured five drivers' titles for the Maranello outfit.

"A guy called Michael Schumacher told us at Monza he would renew his consultancy contract," di Montezemolo continued, referring to the consultancy contract he had with the Italian company. "And it looked like his career would finish with Ferrari. But then there's another one who looks like him, 40 to 41 years old, German, same name… and he has decided to do a new career.

"Everybody in life can do what they prefer, and I understand that there is somebody at 41 years who wants to try again. So I think it's possible this twin, another Michael Schumacher, same age, same capability, some determination and spirit, will drive for Mercedes next year."

The Italian revealed that Schumacher was "destroyed" when doctors ruled out a return to F1 earlier this year to replace Felipe Massa.

"He phoned me, and he was so sad," said di Montezemolo. "He said: 'Listen, the doctor says I cannot do anything because I still have a problem with the neck. "That day, Michael was not sad, he was more than sad. He was destroyed.

"Of course, I will have a lot of fans on our website very upset," he admitted. "They think Michael is a traitor. But I will explain to them it is not Michael but another one. As a friend, it is difficult for me, but I'm happy to see somebody so fit and with such big determination. As chairman of Ferrari, I'm so sad. He received a lot from Ferrari, and he has given a lot to Ferrari. I think the combination in the good and the bad moments was very, very good. This is the reason why I think we have to accept there is another Michael who is wanting to race. The real Michael is still with Ferrari."

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