Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari was very disappointed to hear the news of Michael Schumacher's move to Mercedes GP, but the team boss reckons the German's comeback is great news for Formula 1.
Schumacher, who will turn 41 next month, will make a sensational return to the sport after having retired for the first time at the end of the 2006 season. The German will join Mercedes Grand Prix after having signed a three-year deal that will see his 14-year relationship with Ferrari come to an end.
Domenicali admitted it was not easy to accept the news. "A marriage is not based on formal aspects," Domenicali told La Stampa newspaper in an interview. "In his head, he had the desire and he wanted to tackle a new sporting challenge, and Ferrari had no openings. We were very disappointed, needless to deny it, but we have to move on."
The Italian, however, is convinced that Schumacher's return is a huge boost for Formula 1. "His return is great news for Formula 1: he will increase the interest in the championship, attract new audiences and improve the show," he added.
The Ferrari boss also reckons the Italian fans will not forget everything Schumacher achieved with the Maranello team come next year's Italian Grand Prix.
"I was surprised to receive so many letters from fans who were 'disappointed', to put it mildly. The Italian Grand Prix is far away: I'm sure that Ferrari fans will be grateful. History cannot be erased," Domenicali said, adding that Ferrari has been boosted by the arrival of Fernando Alonso from 2010.
"He was here last time in mid-December. Since then he calls every day to find out about the car's performance in the simulations. His arrival has been a boost for the boys."