Schumacher returns to Formula One

Seven times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher will make a surprise return to the sport, as a replacement driver to the injured Felipe Massa.

The German will drive alongside Kimi Raikkonen in the European Grand Prix at Valencia next month and it will be the first time that Schumacher will be competing in the sport since announcing his retirement back in 2006.

Schumacher said in his official website:

I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe.

Though it is true that the chapter Formula 1 has been closed for me since long and completely, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am I also very much look forward to facing this challenge.

It will be fascinating to see how Michael will perform in the F60 – a car he has never driven – on a street circuit completely unknown to him.

Though the prospect of seeing the most successful Formula One driver up against the likes of Raikkonen, Vettel and Hamilton will be amazing. Roll on August 23!

9 thoughts to “Schumacher returns to Formula One”

  1. Autosport’s news story on Michael Schumacher making a comeback to Formula One this year.

    Michael Schumacher, the seven-time world champion, plans to come out of retirement as Felipe Massa’s replacement at Ferrari from the European Grand Prix.

    Following days of speculation about who would slot in alongside Kimi Raikkonen following Massa’s Hungarian GP crash, Ferrari issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon confirming that Schumacher was being prepared for the role.

    The statement said that Schumacher was ‘ready’ to make his F1 return, and would undertake a training programme over the next few days to ensure he was up to full fitness for an F1 race.

    The German, who quit F1 at the end of 2006, injured himself in a motorbike accident earlier this year and the team want to make sure there are no hidden problems before confirming his position.

    Schumacher has previously baulked at the idea of returning to F1 full-time, but with Massa looking likely to return when he is back to full fitness, and Ferrari in need of a top-line driver, the opportunity is one that has attracted him.

    “The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe is positive. I wish him all the best again,” said Schumacher.

    “I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo, and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe.

    “Though it is true that the chapter of Formula 1 has been completely closed for me for a long time, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge.”

    Once Schumacher gets the green light, it will be the first time he has raced alongside Kimi Raikkonen, as the pair bid to secure Ferrari third place in the constructors’ championship.

    It also comes at a time when Ferrari’s F60 appears to have made good progress on the track, and its KERS could prove to be an advantage in the forthcoming races at Valencia, Spa, Monza and Singapore.

    Schumacher has not tested the current F60, and has not driven since April 2008 when he ran an F2008 at Barcelona.

    The announcement of Schumacher’s plans comes 24 hours after his manager Willi Weber totally ruled out the possibility of the German racing in Valencia.

    “Whoever sits in the car at the next race in Valencia, it will not be Michael Schumacher. I am not 100 per cent sure; I am 200 per cent sure,” Weber was quoted as saying by The Daily Mail.

    “The pressure on him would be huge. He would be expected to win, but he has not driven this car. When Michael was racing he would get as close to perfection as possible. In this case, it would not be perfection; it would be a gamble – and that’s not Michael’s style.”

  2. As for the latest news on Felipe Massa’s condition, the doctors say the Brazilian will compete again. Read the full story below, courtesy from

    Dino Altmann, Felipe Massa’s personal doctor, is certain that Felipe Massa will be able to race again.

    Altmann said that the trauma suffered by the Brazilian was not as bad as first thought, and that his condition has improved rapidly.

    “I have no doubt Felipe will race again,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m sure of that.

    “The situation is still delicate, but I believe his life is not in danger anymore. From the beginning I felt that the trauma wasn’t as extended as it was believed, but the improvements of the last hours have gone beyond our wildest expectations.”

    Altmann added that fears that Massa had suffered damage to his left eye, which was opened for the first time since the accident yesterday, proved to be unjustified.

    “Stimulated by the physiotherapist, he showed he knows left from right and he has full awareness of distance and depth,” said Atlmann. “And his memory loss regards a short time.

    “His eye has been opened, with care because it is still swollen, and he has said he can see. His vision has not weakened.

    “He gave appropriate answers in three languages: Portuguese, Italian, and English. That means that the brain’s cognitive area is fine.”

    Ferrari has confirmed that Massa will be moved out of intensive care later today, and team principal Stefano Domenicali has said that his rate of recovery is impressive.

    “It’s a fantastic improvement,” Domenicali told the newspaper. “Only three days after the crash he’s made encouraging progress.

    “He recognised me, I greeted him and I brought him all the team’s and the fans’ warmth and support. He replied to me in Italian, after he had spoken to his family in Portuguese. He told me he can’t remember anything that had happened: that’s a good thing.”

    Domenicali added that Massa’s place at Ferrari will be kept open for him when he is fit enough to return.

    “The data is encouraging, but in these situations it’s better to be prudent and take one step at a time,” he said. “We want him to recover as soon as possible.

    “I confirmed to him that we are looking forward to his return soon, that the car is his, and that as soon as he’s ready he’ll be back with us.”

  3. World champion Lewis Hamilton says he is excited about being able to race against Michael Schumacher when the German returns to the cockpit for the European Grand Prix.

    The seven-time champion will replace Felipe Massa in the Valencia race next month as the Brazilian continues to recover following his accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    It will be the first time Schumacher has raced in Formula 1 since he retired in 2006, and the first time he has experinced 2009 machinery. He is also yet to drive at the Valencia street circuit.

    Although Hamilton said he is still thinking of Massa, the McLaren driver admitted he can’t wait to share the track with Schumacher.

    “I am excited by the possibility of Michael Schumacher’s return to Formula 1 assuming it happens, but my thoughts are still with Felipe and his family following his terrible accident in Hungary,” said Hamilton.

    “Michael is one of the sport’s greatest competitors and a legend in his own right and it would be great to compete against him.

    “The whole world will be watching his return to the cockpit in Valencia and it will not only be fascinating to see how he readies himself for his grand prix comeback but also an honour and a privilege to race against him for the very first time. I wish him well.”

    Championship leader Jenson Button also welcomed Schumacher’s return, and the Briton reckons the former champion is likely to be competitive.

    “It’s a tough position for him to be in but I’m happy he’s taken up the challenge and it’s very brave of him,” Button told the BBC.

    “He’s still young – 40 is not old and he’ll still be competitive.”


  4. Glad to hear Massa’s progressing well. I’m hopeful he’ll be back in the car before the season’s end.

    As for Schumacher; his management team must be tearing their hair out ! 🙂 They’ve been very protective of Schumacher’s legacy even if the man himself says that he dosen’t care THAT much . I’m sure they’re the ones that stopped him from doing a lap in the Liana in Top Gear.

    There are so much to learn though – a car he has never driven ; on a circuit he has never seen ; slicks ; KERS . …… all without being able to test beforehand. I wonder if they’ll be able to cheat the testing ban by running an older car ? he can at least get use to the tyres and engine characteristics , even simulate the expected downforce levels……

    All the same, I can’t wait myself (even though I never considered myself a fan of his) . Unless he crashes the car a lot or be miles off the pace, I can’t see he can make a fool of himself enough to dent his reputation under such circumstances. Should he beat Kimi… well, Raikkonen’s reputation may never recover.

    If he wins…….. the mind boggles to the repercusions!


  5. This year’s European Grand Prix is going to be exciting compare to 2008. Ironically, Felipe Massa won the race at Valencia but this time, it is Michael Schumacher’s turn in the Ferrari. Can he do it? Check out the latest news below, taken from

    Michael Schumacher has began his preparation to return to Formula 1 action at the European Grand Prix next month.

    The seven-time world champion will replace Felipe Massa in the Valencia race as the Brazilian continues with his recovery following the accident he suffered at the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend.

    Schumacher travelled to Ferrari’s factory in Maranello yesterday, where he worked at the static simulator to check the functionality of the steering wheel.

    The German has borrowed an F2007 car and he is reported to be testing at the Mugello circuit today (July 31) since 11am.

    Schumacher admitted that he is trying to get as much mileage as possible before his return, even if it means driving old cars.

    “There is this test ban in Formula 1, therefore I contacted some of the guys from F1 Clienti if they could give me a car,” Schumacher wrote on his website.

    “Although those cars are not current or last year’s ones, I simply like to drive as much as possible, so this is a good option. The next weeks will be totally on preparation then.”

  6. The latest news updates from including Kimi Raikkonen’s viewpoint on Michael Schumacher’s comeback in Formula One:

    Ferrari has asked rival teams for permission to have Michael Schumacher test this year’s car during the testing ban ahead of the European Grand Prix.

    The German driver will replace Felipe Massa at the Maranello-based squad in Valencia, but Schumacher had not driven a Formula 1 car since last year.

    The seven-time champion has already began his preparations for the race, having taken to the Mugello circuit today in a two-year-old F2007 car.

    But Ferrari has written to the FIA and to its rival teams asking to allow Schumacher to test for a day with this year’s F60 car in order to arrive better prepared for the Valencia race.

    Kimi Raikkonen says he has no qualms about being joined in the Ferrari line-up if Michael Schumacher goes ahead with his plan to substitute for the injured Felipe Massa.

    Schumacher has begun testing a 2007 Formula 1 Ferrari in a bid to see if he is fit enough for his intended comeback at the European Grand Prix.

    Raikkonen insisted the identity of his team-mate was largely irrelevant to him, but welcomed news of Schumacher’s return.

    “For me it makes no difference who drives the second car,” he said. “I don’t think it is 100 per cent sure that he will drive as he is still checking things out.

    “But it will be nice to have him as a team-mate. It nearly happened before.”

    Schumacher’s comeback also received support from his former rival Juan Pablo Montoya.

    The Colombian NASCAR racer, who had some memorable wheel to wheel battles with Schumacher before leaving F1 for stock cars, expects Schumacher to cope well, although he doubts the seven-time champion will improve on Raikkonen and Massa’s recent results.

    “I heard he was testing today already,” said Montoya. “Physically he’ll be fine with all the testing he’ll do before that I think.

    “Will he do a lot more than the current Ferrari drivers are doing? I’ll be surprised but you know… you never know.

    “I’m sure they’re going to make sure that they come up with something new for his arrival to make sure he looks good.”

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