Michael Schumacher’s famous former manager Willi Weber has advised the German driver to retire from Formula One.
Having recently negotiated the great German’s latest personal sponsorship deal, Willi Weber made headlines by announcing that – if he was still in charge – he would travel to Maranello for a chat with Luca di Montezemolo.
In the wake of Mercedes’ decision to overlook Schumacher for a 2013 seat, that triggered real speculation that the 43-year-old could return to Ferrari next year to replace Felipe Massa. Weber, however, hopes it doesn’t happen.
“Michael doesn’t have to prove one more thing,” he told Auto Motor und Sport. “He was the best driver in the world. As a manager I would maybe try to get him in there (Ferrari), but I cannot imagine that it would be considered seriously.
“With all respect for Michael and his legend, now is the time for the younger ones,” added Weber.
And he said Schumacher should absolutely not court a move to Sauber.
“What is this? Continue with Sauber? With a private team? I can’t imagine Michael doing that. Nothing against Peter Sauber, as what he has done this year is better than what Mercedes has done. But someone like Michael belongs with a global company or a famous racing team. And at Sauber he cannot fight for the title.”
The Sauber link, however, will continue for as long as Schumacher and his new manager Sabine Kehm do not rule out otherwise.
Kehm told CNN: “The answer is that we will carefully think about any options we have. We are not in a hurry to do this. In the meantime though we will not give out any reports and discuss the different steps.”
Niki Lauda was instrumental in Mercedes’ decision to replace Schumacher with Lewis Hamilton, but the great Austrian hopes the former Benetton and Ferrari driver does not retire altogether.
“Naturally, his withdrawal would leave a big hole in Formula One,” he is quoted by Der Spiegel.