Schu knows more about Ferrari spy scandal

(GMM) Michael Schumacher on Thursday refused to comment in detail about the espionage scandal involving his former chief mechanic.

Until he retired as a racing driver at the end of last season, the 38-year-old had a close relationship at Ferrari with the now sacked Nigel Stepney, who is the subject of criminal proceedings which also pursue him for suspected sabotage.

Schumacher told the newspaper Bild: "Unfortunately with large companies there are always unpleasant moments such as these."

The German, a close friend and confidant of Ferrari principal Jean Todt, refused to go into further detail because he admitted he knows more than the public does about the case.

Schumacher confirmed: "Yes. But in these sorts of matters you cannot talk as openly as perhaps you would like. Unfortunately."

While hardly leaping to the defense of his former chief mechanic, then, Schumacher did say that he thought his struggling brother Ralf could weather the storm of 2007 and emerge with a formula one seat next year.

"I am completely sure about it," Michael, who is six years older than his brother, said, "and I know at which teams there are spare places.

"Fortunately there are enough team bosses who still appreciate what experience is worth. Everyone will soon see the old Ralf Schumacher again.

"Clearly he has to sort a few things out, because if your teammate is faster, then you simply must work harder on your own car.

"But Ralf knows where his problems lie."

Schumacher laughed when he asked if he had given Ralf any advice on his visits to the formula one paddock so far.

"You know my brother," he said.

"Seriously, we chatted in Canada quite a bit and I told him some of my thoughts about what I had seen on the tracks."

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