A huge rumour in Germany gathered strength late on Tuesday — that Michael Schumacher is reportedly being groomed to take over as boss of the Ferrari team.
The story – that the seven time world champion’s post-driving role as an ‘advisor’ to the Italian team is actually a preclude to a more prominent position – originated in the specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport, but quickly spread throughout the motor sport and mainstream media.
German Schumacher, 38, has apparently made more visits to Maranello and participated in more key meetings in the last few months than he did during all of 2006, and an anonymous Ferrari ‘insider’ noted: “A person who is involved in such a way is preparing for a high-ranking job.
“It must be the position of team leader.”
Soon after the report hit the airwaves, denials started to flow.
Schumacher’s spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told the news agency ‘dpa’: “Michael’s new role as an advisor will only be in the background.”
Quoted by Sport Bild, his manager Willi Weber added: “This is just a rumour and there is nothing in it.
“Michael is not going to be the team boss — and anyway that role is already filled.”
Swiss ex-driver Marc Surer, who contested 87 grands prix in the 80s, told sport1.de: “If you ask me, that Schumacher becomes a team boss is absolutely conceivable.
“Schumacher helped to create today’s Ferrari and knows that as well as a fast driver you also need the right people working around him.”