After taking over Jean Todt's position as Ferrari Formula 1 director, Stefano Domenicali knows he has some pretty big boots to fill, but he has nevertheless received a resounding endorsement from one of the Frenchman's closest allies.

Having returned to a F1 in a manner that suggested he had never been away by shooting straight to the top of the timesheets on the opening two days of testing at Barcelona, Michael Schumacher then went on to speak effusively about the Scuderia's new grand prix figurehead, who has stepped up to fill Todt's place from his previous role as sporting director.

"Domenicali has done a superb job for now," the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion is quoted as saying by the Circuit de Catalunya's official website. "That is why he has reached the pinnacle of Ferrari's sporting management. He has supported the team at all times, and he will offer everything within his reach.

"It's difficult to do it better than it has been done up to now, but there is always room for improvement, and I hope next year Ferrari wins the world championship again."

After spending his second day in Spain driving the F2007 without traction control for the first time, as per next year's regulations, Schumacher admitted the lack of driver aids made the car more fun to drive - and forced the driver to work even harder than before. As to how it felt to be back behind the wheel, meanwhile, his response was emphatic.

"I don't miss it," he the German asserted, "because I never left."



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