Mike Stevens | Aug 12, 2009

FERRARI PRESIDENT Luca di Montezemolo will push for his team to run three cars next season in a bid to entice Michael Schumacher back to Formula 1.

Schumacher’s brief flirtation with a return to the sport ended after it was revealed his neck was unable to withstand the rigours of Formula 1.

However, Di Montezemolo believes the departure of BMW Sauber at the end of the year will create an opportunity for two of the sport’s established giants to field an extra car on the grid, and provide the seven-time World Champion with a chance to launch his comeback.

And he believes Schumacher would have no trouble adapting to the changes which have affected Formula 1 since his retirement in 2006.

"Well we're talking about Michael Schumacher. He is 40 years old, but he's still from another planet,” Di Montezemolo told Italy’s La Stampa.

"I prefer the champion, even if matured, to the mediocre driver, even if he's young. Our circus needed some great input.

"We're continuing to fight until every team has the right to start with three cars in the next season. I prefer three McLaren and three Renault to three "whatevers". With BMW gone, there's not much to say but lots to do."

Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt.
Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt.

Di Montezemolo also revealed Schumacher hadn’t reacted well to the news a pre-existing injury would prevent him from making the grid at Valencia.

“He answered with such an enthusiasm to my request (to return and replace Felipe Massa); the enthusiasm of a boy and not of a retired champion,” he said.

"He lost four kilos; same weight as in October 2006 when he raced for the last time in Brazil. You can imagine how he took (the news of his injury)."

Meanwhile, long time Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer has told the team’s official website that the chance to race for the Scuderia is the fulfilment of a personal dream.

However, he admitted he holds mixed feeling about the nature of his call-up, stating he is disappointed for Schumacher.

"I'm really sorry for Michael, because I know how much he wanted to return: I'm saying that as his friend and his fan. We've been in contact during the last days and we drove karts together at Lonato last week. So I followed him very closely in this attempt,” he said.

"Last night he called me a couple of minutes after Stefano Domenicali had told me the news and I know that he'll always be ready to give me some advice and he will shout for me.”

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