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Weber, the manager No.1

London: As manager of world champion Michael Schumacher and his younger brother Ralf, Willi Weber can sit back and enjoy their Formula One title battle with equanimity. The German expects the Ferrari driver to come out on top again but, as he said in a telephone interview on Tuesday: “At the end of the day, I don’t care as long as the winner is called Schumacher.

“I’m in a fantastic position.”

Weber recently concluded Michael’s contract negotiations with a deal keeping the 34-year-old at Ferrari until the end of 2006. Now he is hoping for a similar long-term extension for Ralf, winner of the last two races for Williams.

“I want to do with Ralf what I did with Michael in the early stages,” said Weber. “I like to have a long contract. I see how important it is when you stay with a team for many years ... it becomes like a big family and the understanding is much better.”

Weber, who also masterminded Schumacher’s debut with Jordan in 1991 and his move from Benetton to Ferrari at the end of 1995, said he talked to Frank Williams when Ralf won the June 29 European Grand Prix at Nuerburgring. But he said there was no need to hurry, since Ralf already had a contract to the end of 2004. (Reuters)

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