Sabine Kehm, Schumacher's long time press spokeswoman, insisted however that the reason for the German's absence is not related to the controversy arisen after the Malaysian Grand Prix two weekends ago. Kehm argued Schumacher will not be able to make it to China because of vacationing reasons.
“Michael is not going to China because he is vacationing for a few days with his family. Internally (within Ferrari) it is known and has nothing to do with the first two races,” said Kehm, who insisted joining the team for the forthcoming two events was never part of Schumacher's schedule in the first place.
As far as the Bahrain round is concerned – scheduled only one week away from the Chinese Grand Prix – the spokeswoman said “that was also never planned”.
Shortly after the Malaysian Grand Prix, several media channels have issued rumors about Schumacher's determinant role in setting Kimi Raikkonen's disastrous tire strategy in the race. The German ace soon denied these allegations through the voice of long-time manager Willi Weber, who insisted Schu's role within the Ferrari pit wall is purely consultative.
Weber also announced Schumacher's consultative deal with Ferrari is due to expire at the end of this year and the German is seriously considering leaving the Maranello team afterwards. However, the manager insisted his client's potential departure from Ferrari will have nothing to do with the Malaysia-related allegations.