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Drivers - Michael, please don’t go! 08 Sep 2006

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault Third Driver in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, 7 September 2006 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, 7 September 2006 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, 7 September 2006 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, 7 September 2006 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Scuderia Toro Rosso in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Preparations, Monza, Italy, 7 September 2006

Nobody seems to want Michael Schumacher to retire! At least, none of the five drivers in Thursday’s press conference did, as rumours of the great German’s imminent decision on his 2007 plans continue to swirl around the famed Monza Autodrome.

“It's been a pleasure for me to race with him, and obviously he has achieved a lot,” Jarno Trulli said. “It's not up to me to say how much, but the numbers speak for themselves. Obviously we don't know what's going to happen but if he leaves Formula One, we will miss him a little bit as a driver, we will miss him in the football matches, because that has been very nice this year but on the other hand, I think it's his own life and he has to get on with it. It's difficult now. We don't know what's going to happen. He's given a lot to Formula One, he's given a lot to Ferrari and it's normal that a lot of people will miss him.”

Giancarlo Fisichella agreed: “Formula One will miss Michael. I don't think we will miss Michael in the football games because even if he retires, I think he will play with us. He loves playing football. He's a great driver, he's a nice guy and he is still fit, he's still quick. I think he's still got a chance to continue and I would like to race with him next year.”

Heikki Kovalainen beat Schumacher in the charity kart race at Bercy a few years back: “Well of course for me, as a rookie next year it would be great to fight with Michael because obviously he's won everything as they've already said. I've actually had a chance one time to fight with him in that charity event in Paris and I would like to have another go!”

“Of course it would be a big shame if he retires because he's the greatest champion of the last 10 years for sure and to race with him has always been pretty fair and he has given us some good lessons on TV,” Tonio Liuzzi thought. “He's always been a great guy and a great driver to talk about racing and sports with but for sure, that's life. Sometime he thought maybe he had to continue a bit more with his family and I agree with his decision if he will retire. We still don't know if he will be in the championship next year, but if not, it's just a decision which arises once in your life, the time when you have to say it's over.”

Schumacher’s current Ferrari team mate made the best point. “Well, we don't know if he will retire or not so we need to wait and see,” Felipe Massa said. “But for sure, it's a big pleasure just to have the experience to race with him, and I'm more close to Michael even since 2003 when I was test driver. He's a very nice guy, we get along quite well and he's very professional, he's definitely the most complete driver in Formula One, in my opinion. But we really don't know if he's going to retire or not.”

Schumacher’s main focus is but one thing this weekend - to win. And after being almost a second clear of everyone on the final day of last week’s test, Massa says that Ferrari are feeling confident.

“The car was behaving very well, very strong, good speed, good stability, good downforce, and everything was really working well, so hopefully we can show the same performance this weekend as we showed last week in testing, and also at the last race. So really, I think we're going to be strong and we're pretty confident that we can be very very strong in this race.”

Renault, be warned!