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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Mercedes cool on Schumacher link
Michael Schumacher
Everyone knows how strong the bond between Ferrari and myself is
Michael Schumacher
Mercedes has played down claims it has had talks with Michael Schumacher about the seven-time champion racing for its Formula One partner McLaren.

Mercedes sports boss Norbert Haug said he had met the Ferrari star but that it was not to lure him to McLaren.

Haug said: "It is true that we met but only to speak about the future of Formula One. I do not think he will be leaving Ferrari."

"I do not want to discuss rumours about me leaving Ferrari," Schumacher said.

"Everyone knows how strong the bond between Ferrari and myself is."

The claims appeared in the German newspaper Bild, which said the 36-year-old had twice held talks with Haug.

Schumacher's contract with Ferrari runs out at the end of 2006, although the team have said they would extend it if their driver decided he wanted to race on beyond that.

Ferrari have been linked with a move for McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen as an eventual replacement for Schumacher.

Ferrari have struggled this season after dominating in 2004, with Schumacher winning only one race so far.

That victory was in the farcical US Grand Prix, when Ferrari had no competitive opposition following a problem with the Michelin tyres used by their rivals that led to all the other top teams refusing to race.

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