Michael Schumacher has consented to rejoining the Formula One drivers' organisation, but will not stand for an official position after being a director during his previous stint in the top flight.
Dismissing speculation that Schumacher's previous reluctance to rejoin the Grand Prix Drivers' Association [GPDA] had anything to do with his relationship with former chairman Pedro de la Rosa, the German's spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, confirmed his renewed involvement, but insisted that he wanted the latest generation of drivers to hold the positions of responsibility.
Schumacher, now 41, was rumoured to have fallen out with de la Rosa - who joined the German in returning to a full-time race seat in 2010 - after the Sauber driver quit his role as chairman over the infamous qualifying incident at La Rascasse in Monaco in 2006. Kehm, however, maintains that there is no acrimony between the pair, and said that Schumacher was happy just to be a 'silent member' of the GPDA on his return to the fold.
"Michael always supported the work of the GPDA, for many years as a director but, after he retired, the work had been successfully taken over by the younger drivers," Kehm pointed out, "At first, Michael was hesitant to join as he did not want to be involved again but, after some thoughts and discussions, mainly with Felipe Massa, he reconsidered this initial decision and will now be a silent member."
Schumacher's fellow German, and Mercedes GP Petronas team-mate, Nick Heidfeld currently serves as chairman of the GPDA, with another countryman, Sebastian Vettel, and former team-mate, Massa, acting as directors, having replaced Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso.