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Schumacher - thinking the unthinkable? 12 Jan 2006

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 14 October 2005

Michael Schumacher has admitted there is a chance - albeit a very small one - that he may not end his Formula One career with Ferrari, the team that has brought him five world championships.

There has already been widespread speculation that Schumacher could retire at the end of the 2006 season if Ferrari’s performance does not improve, but now the German has given the media another possibility to consider - a move to a rival team.

"I said that at mid-season I will decide if I want to go on or not go on, and 99 percent I do this with Ferrari if I go on, I should say 99.9,” he told the press at Ferrari’s annual ski meeting.

In the past Schumacher has always pledged his future to the Italian team and he maintained that his comments were not an indication of any specific desire to leave Ferrari, but rather the result of nothing in life being certain.

“Who can look so far in advance, and who can tell what is going to happen, particularly in our sport where things sometimes move rather quickly?” he added. “And as I said, I don't want to lie and therefore I am saying the truth and 99 percent that is what it is and then we will see."

Schumacher, at age 37 the oldest driver on the grid, joined Ferrari in 1996, at which time they had not won a drivers’ title in almost 20 years.