Schumacher's 2010 Retainer is EUR21 Million - Reports

Here's a new one! Mercedes will not offer Michael Schumacher EUR7 million as a retainer for the 2010 Formula One championship, but EUR21 million. As you might have expected, the news was not confirmed by any of the two parties, as it's simply a rumor issued by Swiss publication Blick during its Thursday edition.

Until the German manufacturer will deny this report – and they certainly will, in the next few hours or later this week – we'll remind you that even his EUR7 million retainer was considered way over the limit in the late months of 2009.

The reason was, no doubt about it, the economic crisis that had struck – and is still very much present on several markets worldwide – the Stuttgart based company, among others. While certain members of the Daimler AG board pushed for an F1 quit from the German carmaker, Mercedes-Benz eventually decided to stay in the series, but on a limited budget.

Under the circumstances, giving that kind of money to 41-year old Schumacher was seen as non-sense, no matter the marketing benefits this move was bringing with it. The German signed a 3-year deal with Mercedes GP, which counts for EUR21 million out of the German manufacturer's pockets (ironically, the same sum of money the Swiss publication is claiming to be Schu's salary for a single season).

Both Schumacher and his manager Willi Weber have commented on the German's salary-related rumors shortly after the deal was signed, but both declined to answer specific questions. Later on, Mercedes' motorsport boss Norbert Haug insisted that his company is not paying Schumacher a dime through his contract.

In our Formula One team, the drivers' salary comes only from our sponsor partners and the commercial rights holder FOM, not from Mercedes-Benz,” said Haug at the time, therefore hinting that Schu's retainer is paid only from the sponsors' pockets.
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