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Schumacher to be Ferrari team manager? UPDATE #2 (GMM) Michael Schumacher indicated on Wednesday that he is not on the verge of becoming Ferrari's new team boss.

According to a rampant rumor, the former seven time world champion's current advisory role is merely a prelude to a new career on the pit wall at grands prix.

But on a visit to the last day of European testing this pre-season, Schumacher - fresh from a holiday in the Maldives - said in Barcelona: "I am not going to go to all the races this year, but I will go to some in Europe."

The 38-year-old's long time manager Willi Weber also stepped up his rejection of the speculation as he told the newspaper Bild: "If Michael had wanted to have a full time job at race tracks then he would have stayed as a driver."

Weber admitted that Schumacher is attending a lot of internal team meetings at Maranello with Jean Todt, but said it is more a reflection of the successful German's personality than any preparation for a new job.

"If Michael decides to do something, then he does it with 110 per cent of his attention," Weber said.

Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni also denied the story, which originally appeared in the magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

"Michael is clearly involved with the team, but this report is nonsense," Colajanni, who is the head of Ferrari's Motor Sport Press Office, said.

02/14/07 (GMM) A huge rumor in Germany gathered strength late on Tuesday -- that Michael Schumacher is reportedly being groomed to take over as boss of the Ferrari team.

The story - that the seven time world champion's post-driving role as an 'advisor' to the Italian team is actually a preclude to a more prominent position - originated in the specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport, but quickly spread throughout the motor sport and mainstream media.

German Schumacher, 38, has apparently made more visits to Maranello and participated in more key meetings in the last few months than he did during all of 2006, and an anonymous Ferrari 'insider' noted: "A person who is involved in such a way is preparing for a high-ranking job.

"It must be the position of team leader."

Soon after the report hit the airwaves, denials started to flow.

Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told the news agency 'dpa': "Michael's new role as an advisor will only be in the background."

Quoted by Sport Bild, his manager Willi Weber added: "This is just a rumor and there is nothing in it.

"Michael is not going to be the team boss -- and anyway that role is already filled."

Swiss ex-driver Marc Surer, who contested 87 grands prix in the 80s, told sport1.de: "If you ask me, that Schumacher becomes a team boss is absolutely conceivable.

"Schumacher helped to create today's Ferrari and knows that as well as a fast driver you also need the right people working around him."

02/13/07 Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher is in talks with Ferrari with a view to becoming new team manager, according to German media sources.

The 38-year-old retired from racing at the end of last season, though is fully involved in all his team's preparations for the forthcoming campaign, starting in Melbourne on March 18.

"He has been in Maranello [the team's headquarters] more often this year than all the years in the past.," a Ferrari manager told German magazine auto, motor und sport, and claimed that Schumacher was included in all the discussion on key decisions for the Italian outfit.

Schumacher has had all test data and times communicated to him at home, and has been charged with helping his successor, Kimi Raikkonen, settle into his new team.

"Michael's role in the background of the team is clearly defined," said his spokesperson Sabine Kehm.

"Whoever is participating in these sorts of things is being prepared for tasks at a higher level," a team insider told auto, motor und sport.

"It must be that of team boss," the source added. Eurosport

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