Schumacher to be at the Spanish Grand Prix on weekend
May 8, 2007 - 9:19:41 AM

Barcelona, May 8 - Michael Schumacher has achieved virtually everything there is to achieve in Grand Prix racing, but he will celebrate another first.

The seven-time world champion will be making his first appearance as a Ferrari advisor at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona Sunday.

Schumacher, who retired at the end of last year, is expected to arrive at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona on Friday.

The Spanish Grand Prix has always been one of Schumacher's favourite, winning six times and last week, when teams were testing on the track, a banner read: 'Schumi we miss you so much. You will always be the best.'

While fans are obviously looking forward to seeing their hero, the journalists will be interested in what he has to say. But one thing is clear: Schumacher, who has been a well-paid advisor for Ferrari since retiring, will hold back on high profile appearances.

'He will be the one who will be watching structures in the background and looks at where things can be bettered,' Schumacher's spokesperson Sabine Kehm said.

The German, who won five championships with Ferrari, has certainly managed to live up to Ferrari's new expectations. He politely declines to answer questions about Ferrari, even though he is very well informed about all technical aspects of the team.

He also stays in contact with his former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, whom the 38-year-old phones now and then.

And unlike Kimi Raikkonen, who took Schumacher's place at Ferrari and won his first race for his new team at the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year, Massa is interested in maintaining contact.

'Michael is a very important part of the team. It is always nice to see him and hear his assessments,' the Brazilian said.

On Sunday, Schumacher could personally congratulate Massa, who this season won Bahrain, or Raikkonen, if Ferrari manage their third victory in the fourth Grand Prix of the season.

Schumacher's successor as world champion, Fernando Alonso, who last year won his first Spanish Grand Prix, is of course the local favourite.

The McLaren-Mercedes driver has made it quite clear that he does not miss Schumacher and is looking forward to a repeat performance in Barcelona.

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