The Ferrari Formula One team is denying German news reports that it would not renew the contract of seven-time driving champion Michael Schumacher and would replace him with Finland's Kimi Raikkonen.
The Bild newspaper reported earlier this week that Schumacher would leave Ferrari for McLaren-Mercedes when his contract expires at the end of next season. Thursday, Bild reported that Raikkonen would replace the German driver. Raikkonen has won five races this season including last week's inaugural Turkish Grand Prix.
Ferrari said that it has two drivers - Schumacher and Brazilian Felipe Massa - under contract for 2006 and it is too soon to talk about 2007. McLaren said it anticipates a long-term relationship with Raikkonen and is not in discussions with any other driver, including Schumacher.
Raikkonen is currently second in the drivers' standings behind Fernando Alonso of Spain. Schumacher is third, 16 points behind Raikkonen. The next Formula One race is the Grand Prix of Italy September 4.