Domenicali: Schumacher able to fight for title

Ferrari team boss Stfano Domenicali has given former employee and returning 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher a big endorsement for his 2010 capaign to win the F1 title. Speaking to Spanish radio Onda Cero Domenicali explained that Schumacher will not only be a worthy challenger but that he will also be a consideration for the title. This from a Google translation of the interview:

“Michael is able to fight for the title. It is a very great champion and a very great pilot, and if you have chosen to return is because he knows he will have a competitive car and he also probably will be. We must not forget that we and he wanted it to be the replacement for Felipe last season. It will be one of our competitors, as will Mercedes, and Rosberg, McLaren, with two great drivers, and Red Bull. The title will enter us and these three teams. ”

As evidenced at the Mercdes GP Ptronas launch this week, Schumacher makes no bones about his aspirations upon returning tot he series. He is focused on the title and feels he has the tools, fitness and talent to do just that saying:

“I think we have everything it takes to do it,” said Schumacher, appearing in Mercedes-Benz race overalls.

“It’s one thing to have all the ingredients to be able to cook it up but it’s another thing to have a good result. I believe with the experience Ross has, with what we did last year, having Mercedes as the team itself, with all the experience and the know-how and the quality they have, on top of myself… I’m sorry but there’s only one target.

“But it’s one thing to have a target and another thing to achieve it.”

Domenicali seems to agree and who better to know the machinations, motivation and core needs that would move Schumacher to return to the sport. It was just a few months ago that they asked the German to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa and Domenicali makes a point of mentioning Schumacher’s comfort level with the competitiveness of the Mercdes GP Petronas car.

No doubt that Schumacher’s return hinged on the real possibility of a competitive car and team to support it. In Mercedes and Ross Brawn, he has both. In Rosberg he has a capable teammate and in team support he has Brackley. Schumacher has the luxury of only signing for a top team and his signature on the Mercedes GP contract may say more about the team than it does about the man.

Domenicali knows this all too well and while I think he is just being magnanimous here, he also knows the very real threat that Mercedes GP presents to both Ferrari and McLaren. I suspect Schumacher knows this as well. Time will tell.

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