Schumacher will not attend next two grands prix

Ferrari consultant Michael Schumacher will not attend the next two races in China and Bahrain, his spokeswoman has confirmed. The seven-time world champion will be on holiday with his family and so will miss the two races.

The seven-time world champion was rumoured to be the subject of internal criticism at Ferrari, after speculation laid the blame for Malaysia mistakes at his door. The German was rumoured to have made the call for Kimi Raikkonen to go onto full wet tyres at a crucial point, despite the track being bone dry at that point. But Sabine Kehm, Schumacher’s long-serving spokeswoman, denied that his forthcoming absence was connected.

“Michael is not going to China because he is vacationing for a few days with his family. Internally (within Ferrari) it is known and has nothing to do with the first two races,” she said

“[His appearance in Bahrain] was also never planned,” she added.

Ferrari have had an internal reshuffle since the last race, with team manager Luca Baldisserri moving from the pitwall to a factory-based role. The marque is said to be very keen to recover its form and competitiveness, with Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo rumoured to have issued a private dressing-down.