source : www.autosport.com
By Jonathan Noble and Edd Straw
Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo has clarified Michael Schumacher's role with the marque's Formula 1 team, saying that the seven-time world champion continues to be involved as a consultant.
The Ferrari legend's role in the team drew intense press speculation following high-profile strategy blunders in qualifying and the race during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.
"Michael is part of our family," di Montezemolo told reporters in Bahrain today.
"Michael is part of our history. Michael has very good relations with [team principal] Stefano Domenicali and he will continue to give ideas and suggestions as a consultant - no more, no less.
"He came last year to a few races, and he came at the beginning of the season. And he will come back. But he has no responsible role within the team because he has no time to be present in Maranello.
"This was a little bit invented by the press, because Michael's position is very clear since the beginning."
Di Montezemolo added that he was disappointed that Schumacher was not able to take up a permanent role with the team after his retirement from racing at the end of 2006. He was offered a management role under Jean Todt, but declined the offer.
"When Michael stopped, I told him - do you want to become a manager?," said Di Montezemolo. "Do you want to be for one year on the right arm of Jean Todt and then replace Jean Todt? Yes or No? [He said] No!
"I am sorry because I think Michael has got a good mentality, but I understand that his life is different. So we said to him, why don't you come sometimes to the races?
"But his main engagement was to work on the development of road cars. He has done a lot of work with the Scuderia California, with very good relations and team spirit with our technicians"