Provided by Ferrari.
Q. Chairman Montezemolo, when did you get the news?
Luca di Montezemolo: Monday evening. Over the last days Michael had anticipated that he was about to go back to Germany for another scan of his neck. It seemed to be a formality.
Q. But instead...
LdM: They found something that still didn't work. So it's better not to insist. We wouldn't do that at all. He had the small motorcycle accident in February and on the first laps at Mugello he felt that something was wrong. You shouldn't joke with your health.
Q. Disappointed? Surprised?
LdM: Very disappointed. For the enthusiasm Schumacher accepted the challenge, for how it went, completely improvised. Let me say it again: it's too risky.
Q. How did Schumi react?
LdM: What do you think? He answered with such an enthusiasm to my request; the enthusiasm of a boy and not of a retired champion. He lost 4 kilos; same weight as in October 2006 when he raced for the last time in Brazil. You can imagine how he took it.
Q. Why don't you look ahead, why to the past, even although Schumacher is Schumacher?
LdM: Well we're talking about Michael Schumacher. He is 40 years old, but he's still from another planet. 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 (and one I'd have handed over to Michael with pleasure). I prefer three McLaren and three Renault to three "whatevers". With BMW gone, there's not much to say but lots to do.
Q. And now?
LdM: Faith in Luca Badoer, who's one of us. Destiny has given him a unique possibility now he has to make the best out of it. We will support him with all we've got.
LdM: Underlining his connection with Ferrari, he'll support Luca, who is already preparing himself with his personal trainer.