• Mercedes

Daimler board criticised Schumacher deal

ESPNF1 Staff
December 29, 2009 « Jean Todt targets greener F1 | »
Michael Schumacher's appointment is not popular with Daimler © Getty Images
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Although Michael Schumacher's return to Formula One has been widely welcomed, it seems the move is not popular with Mercedes parent company Daimler.

The current economic climate has been blamed for the withdrawal of Honda, BMW and Toyota from the sport, as well as Renault scaling back its involvement by selling a large part of its team to investment firm Genii Capital.

The Daimler Works Council has criticised the move, with its leader Uwe Werner saying that Schumacher's salary is "hard to justify to our people" in a time when so many are losing their jobs at manufacturing plants around the world.

"The staff would have understood better if Mercedes had withdrawn from the expensive F1 business altogether," he told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

Schumacher's return has also angered many loyal Ferrari fans, so much so that he has had to write an open letter of explanation.

Meanwhile it has also emerged that Michael's brother Ralf Schumacher, who is currently racing in the German touring car series DTM, also considered a return to F1 with Toro Rosso for next season. Although he has refused to deny that talks have taken place, it is widely expected that the team will confirm young Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari as its second driver next month.