Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo insists that the Scuderia
will not stand in Michael Schumacher's way if the seven-time F1 champion elected to make a return to the sport in 2010.
Schumacher had planned to come out of retirement earlier this year to aid Ferrari after Felipe Massa was injured in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, but had to shelve his plans because of concerns over a neck injury sustained in a motorbike accident.
Having worked on the injury in recent months, Schumacher has now been linked with a dramatic return to the sport with the new Mercedes GP team, with weeks of speculation being followed by reports in the German press over the weekend suggesting that a deal to partner Nico Rosberg was imminent.
While he insisted that he hadn't spoken to Schumacher about the speculation, di Montezemolo has now revealed that Ferrari wouldn't block Schumacher from making a return if a deal was to be done with Mercedes.
That comes despite Schumacher revealing earlier this year that he would continue to work as a consultant for Ferrari – a role he has held since retiring at the end of 2006 – for the next three years.
“No, not binding,” di Montezemolo told news agency Reuters
when asked if Ferrari would enforce the deal with the German.
“It's clear that if he decides to take another road, our agreement will no longer be valid – that is logical. You can't work with a competitor and with us at the same time.
“I still haven't spoken to him about it. He is only a dear friend, not a team member. He is a consultant for our road cars.”