Michael Schumacher’s wife voiced support for the seven-time world champion’s Formula One comeback and said the 40-year-old simply needs the challenge.
In comments posted on the German driver’s website, his wife Corinna acknowledged that his decision is “turning our family life upside down.”
But “Michael simply needs challenges - that’s just the way he is,” she added. “I can really understand his decision and, to be honest, I actually think it’s great.”
Schumacher is coming out of retirement after three years to drive for the Mercedes team, which has taken over world championship winning team Brawn, in 2010. Norbert Haug, vice-president of motor sport at Mercedes, portrayed the comeback as a useful investment for the company.
Schumacher’s return “will sell a great many cars and draw a great many people’s attention to the quality of the (Mercedes) star,” Haug told Germany’s ZDF television.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Germany’s Bild daily has reported that Schumacher would earn euro7 million ($10 million) under an initial one-year contract.
Uwe Werner, the chief employee representative at Mercedes’ Bremen plant, was quoted as telling the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper that the spending “is hard to communicate to people” at a time of economic crisis and is of questionable value for the company’s image and sales.
“The work force would have understood better if Mercedes had left the expensive Formula One business,” he added.