Schumacher signs deal with Mercedes GP

Schumacher Nurburgring 2006

Multiple Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher will make his return to the sport driving for the new Mercedes GP team in 2010. The German will race alongside compatriot Nico Rosberg in the rebranded team that took the drivers’ and constructors’ titles as Brawn GP in 2009.

News speculation surrounding the identity of the second driver at Mercedes has been mounting for days with the initial rumour pointing to Nick Heidfeld. But it seems that the seven-times world champion was the more suitable candidate to lead the team to another championship success and with Schumacher rejoining the ‘three-pointed star’ he reunites his former racing colleague Ross Brawn, who masterminded all seven of his titles at Benetton and Ferrari.

Schumacher’s return to Formula One comes after three years since announcing his retirement at the end of the Italian Grand Prix. Since then, the German still maintains his competitive spirit by taking part in karting event and motorcycle races. Unfortunately in one of those motorcycle races, he suffered a neck injury in a crash.

That injury proved a major setback for Michael, as he was assigned to replace the injured Felipe Massa in the Ferrari. Due to his neck injury, Schumacher sadly declined the offer to step-in the F60 and the Scuderia gave the unique opportunity to test driver Luca Badoer and Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella instead.

Michael commented he was deeply disappointed at the time, and it may have been the excitement he felt about returning to Formula One then that helped motivate him to conclude the deal with Mercedes GP.

German newspaper Bild is reporting that Schumacher has signed a one-year deal and it is likely he will have the option to continue beyond 2010 if his return goes well. In addition, it is reported that Michael will earn £6.2 million racing the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team – the official team’s title for next season, with the Malaysian oil company announced as a major sponsor.

With Michael Schumacher competing in Formula One once again and representing ‘Team Germany’ with Mercedes, the 2010 Formula One World Championship is going to be a fascinating season. To witness the wheel-to-wheel duel against former champions Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button (Ferrari and McLaren respectively) is going to be spectacular. Hopefully, Michael still has that racing sprint to compete with the young pretenders.

19 thoughts to “Schumacher signs deal with Mercedes GP”

  1. Michael Schumacher says he is gunning for the ‘serious stuff’ of fighting for the world championship on his F1 return in 2010.

    The seven-time champion has signed a three-year deal to join Mercedes GP for next season, marking an F1 comeback after three years on the sidelines.

    Although he will be the oldest driver on the grid when the season kicks off in Bahrain, Schumacher said on Wednesday that he is not coming back simply to have fun.

    On the back of Brawn GP having captured both world titles in 2009 prior to its takeover by Mercedes-Benz, Schumacher has his sights set on adding more wins and championships to his tally.

    “It [Mercedes GP] is a team that has won both championships this year,” he said. “With Mercedes Benz as a strong partner, our aim can only be to fight for the championship.

    “There will be strong competition, as we have seen, but I am thrilled to be back in this one.”

    Schumacher signed his contract with Mercedes GP on Tuesday night, and said that the chance of reuniting a working relationship with both Ross Brawn and Mercedes-Benz was too hard to ignore.

    “The call I got from Ross Brawn at the end of November concerning the chance in my hand to go racing [was important],” he said. “Having this phone call from him and the circumstances of Mercedes-Benz being involved as the owner was great.

    “I never left the race track. I was tired of F1 by the end of 2006, but after three years of absence I am getting back all the energy and I feeling strong right now.

    “I played around with motorbikes, and I feel ready for some serious stuff now.”

    Schumacher says he has no doubts that he is fit enough to return to F1, and is sure that the neck problem that sidelined him over the summer will not be an issue.

    “It [the neck] was obviously a topic that I wanted to understand,” he said. “Before I gave the final okay, I made sure that I worked it out myself to be sure myself.

    “I can say 100 per cent that the neck is no further an issue. Unfortunately it was too close to the accident in the summer when I tried for Ferrari. Time now is enough for it to have healed completely.”


  2. Ross Brawn believes Michael Schumacher is still capable of winning in Formula 1, after the seven time world champion gave his word that he can still do it.

    Schumacher will turn 41 in January and has been out of Formula 1 since the end of the 2006 season, but is confident that he can return to the level he was at before his retirement.

    “I asked Michael that question and he is the best judge of what he can do,” Brawn said. “I trust him explicitly and he told me he can do it.

    “He has always been his own best critic, the man himself knows what he is capable of. I am very comfortable and confident and put my trust in Michael, and it won’t be misplaced.”

    Brawn denied that Jenson Button was pushed out of the team to make way for Schumacher, following the Briton’s surprise switch to McLaren.

    “I don’t think that is the case,” said Brawn. “We made a good effort to try to find a solution with Jenson and it didn’t work out. Jenson made his decision in the end not to stay. We made a big effort to keep him but it wasn’t possible in the end.

    “It overlapped to be honest. I had a loyalty to Jenson but when that started to look difficult I started talking to Michael, and things developed from there.

    “Michael and I kept very close over the years and I saw from his disappointment over the summer, when he couldn’t drive a Ferrari, how much passion he still has for the sport. We’re incredibly excited now about the prospect of Michael being part of the team.”


  3. Lewis Hamilton has welcomed Michael Schumacher’s return to Formula 1 and says he is looking forward to racing against the seven-time world champion.

    Hamilton has never raced against Schumacher in F1, with the German having retired at the end of 2006 before Hamilton’s debut in 2007.

    “It’s brilliant news,” Hamilton said. “It’s great to have Michael back in Formula 1. I used to watch him race when I was in the junior categories and I always hoped that I would be in F1 while he was still around. I’m really looking forward to seeing him on the track and back at the top.

    “He is a legend and a really nice guy, and I am happy for him that he has once again got an opportunity to do the best job in the world – to race in Formula 1. I wish him my absolute best wishes on his comeback with such a fine team and company as Mercedes-Benz.”

    McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes that Schumacher’s return is a huge boost for Formula 1.

    “I think I share the sentiment of every single F1 fan across the world by saying that Michael Schumacher’s return to the sport is fantastically exciting, and a thrilling prospect for the 2010 season.

    “I’ve no doubt that Michael has studiously examined this opportunity from every possible angle and that he’s convinced he still possesses the same fearsome drive and determination required to succeed in Formula 1. Obviously, Michael is a seven-time champion and has absolutely nothing left to prove – so it will be fascinating to see what he can achieve in a new team.

    “To Michael, Norbert [Haug], Ross [Brawn], Nick [Fry] and everyone at Mercedes GP, we offer our warmest regards and congratulations and, most importantly, we look forward to some terrific racing in 2010.”


  4. Nico Rosberg says he is excited about the prospect of racing alongside Michael Schumacher in 2010 – even though he accepts it is going to be a tough challenge to overcome the seven-time champion.

    Rosberg signed for Mercedes GP before it was clear who his team-mate would be, but has shown no signs of being worried about the prospect of going up against Schumacher.

    “It is fantastic that Michael is returning to Formula 1 and will be my team-mate at Mercedes GP,” said the German. “It’s a great challenge for me to be up against one of the best drivers of all time.

    “I’m sure that we will form a very strong partnership as he will have lost none of his speed. It is also great news for our sport and the fans.”

    Team principal Ross Brawn believes the combination of Schumacher and Rosberg provides Mercedes GP with everything it needs to add more success after its title double this year.

    “I am delighted that we can confirm today that Michael will make his much-anticipated return to Formula 1 next year and drive for our Mercedes GP team,” explained Brawn.

    “As seven-time world champion, Michael’s outstanding record in Formula 1 speaks for itself and I am looking forward to working with him again.

    “With the completion of our driver line-up, I believe that we now have the most exciting partnership in Formula 1 with Michael and Nico, who provide the perfect mix of talent, experience, speed and youth.

    “We can now turn our full attention to the preparations for the new season and everyone at Mercedes GP is extremely excited about the challenge ahead.

    “With the investment and support in our team provided by Daimler, Aabar and our new title partner Petronas, and with two such exciting drivers, we have all of the building blocks in place to have another successful season in 2010.”


  5. Autosport’s Jonathan Noble interviews the seven-times world champion. Read the full article below:

    After three years away from the Formula 1 cockpit, Michael Schumacher has opted to throw himself back into the hotbed of competition by signing for reigning champions Mercedes GP.

    Speaking to the media on Wednesday immediately after his comeback was confirmed, Schumacher spoke about the excitement he feels to be back in F1, why his neck will not be a problem and why his only thought is on winning another world championship.

    Q. What has motivated you to come back?

    Michael Schumacher: The motivation I think is pretty straightforward – the call I got from Ross [Brawn] at the end of November concerning the chance in my hand to go racing. Having this phone call from him, and the circumstances of Mercedes-Benz being involved as the owner, I felt great.

    I never left the race track. I was tired of F1 by the end of 2006…but after three years of absence I have been getting back all the energy that I am feeling right now. I played around with motorbikes, and I feel ready for some serious stuff now.

    Q. What is the situation with your neck?

    MS: It is obviously a topic where I understand the question, and I want to understand myself. Before I gave the final okay, I made sure that I worked it out myself to be sure myself. And I can say 100 percent that the neck is no further an issue.

    Unfortunately it was too close to the accident in the summer when I tried for Ferrari, but time now is enough for it have healed completely. And everything I’ve done, I can do. I have used machines that I used to use with no problem.

    Q. Do you feel that you have the same speed as before, and that single-minded purpose to race wheel-to-wheel with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

    MS: I am absolutely confident on this one…when I got into a kart for the first time after my [motorcycle] crash I was straight away on the pace. I have to prove it in real terms, but going wheel-to-wheel with these guys will be thrilling and exciting. It is something I look for – and the great thing is to get support from the outside. They have no doubt about my ability.

    Q. What does it mean for you to leave Ferrari and join Mercedes-Benz?

    MS: This has not been an easy step, honestly. I have lots of friends at Ferrari after the 14 years that I have been working there, and have good memories of my Ferrari days.

    I think the only reason I sort of seriously thought about my return was because of old friends who asked me. We also had a situation where Mercedes-Benz gave me the chance to enter F1 and over the years it was never possible [to race for them]. Finally now a combination of Ross and Mercedes makes it possible to work together and I am happy to be able to give something to Mercedes after the early days.

    Q. You have a phenomenal reputation after all your success in F1. Do you not worry it will be put on the line next year, and people will not judge you on what you did before?

    MS: I hope they will judge me on what we have done before – and I am going into this exercise with the same opinion. It [Mercedes GP} is a team that has won both championships this year – and we have Mercedes as a strong partner. Our aim can only be to fight for the championship. There will be strong competition, as we have seen, but I am thrilled to be back into this one.

    Q. Did you ask your family about your F1 plans – did you consult your wife and kids?

    MS: Obviously. It is natural that you have to sort out the personal situation before you enter this one. Everyone was thrilled – and the wife has always been keen to see everyone happy. She didn’t really argue at all – she wanted to have fun.

    Q. How long will you drive for Mercedes-Benz?

    MS: We are talking about a three-year deal. It is not a one-off thing. We are obviously looking for continuation.

    Q. What have been the factors in you deciding to make an F1 comeback now? In the past you have said you did not have much interesting in returning.

    MS: I was out of energy by the end of 2006. I needed this time off. I wasn?t thinking about coming back, and I could not have imagined what would happen. I played around in many areas and had a lot of fun. But due to the special combination [now], I thought why not?

    Q. How would you rate your chances of being champion again – and who are your biggest rivals?

    MS: Normally you have to mention the four teams that fought for the top positions this year. They will be the ones fighting again next year. It will be a tight fight – but people have trust in me.

    Q. Do you think the competition in F1 is tougher now than it was three years ago?

    MS: It is probably more tight. But tougher? No, why? There have always been tough drivers.

    Q. Have you been in the Brawn GP simulator yet, and what are you expecting from the new generation of F1 cars?

    MS: No, I have not been in the simulator, other than my personal one – the personal training machine that I have. The cars will be slightly different, but I have been in so many different characters of cars over the years, and a strong part of myself is that I am able to adapt to whatever the circumstances are.

    Q. If there had been no space at Mercedes GP for next year, was there another option. Did McLaren offer you anything?

    MS: I think there would have been no other teams seriously considered, no.

    Q. If you do come back and win races and the title, do you think that will be your greatest achievement?

    MS: It will be certainly a unique experience and a unique achievement. So let?s get behind the wheel first and talk later.

  6. Michael Schumacher says the idea for his Formula 1 comeback was fuelled by his aborted return for Ferrari in the middle of last season.

    The seven-time champion had been pencilled in as Felipe Massa’s temporary replacement from the European Grand Prix, but he had to call off his F1 return at the time because of a neck injury.

    However, he has revealed that the feelings he experienced at the time caused him to rethink his future plans – and set about a sequence of events that has resulted in him returning to F1 with Mercedes GP.

    “Until recently, I was absolutely sure that I had ended my career as a race driver at Ferrari,” Schumacher wrote on his official website.

    “But sometimes things change suddenly and unexpectedly. All of a sudden, the framework conditions aren’t the same anymore. At that point, you have to reconsider the decisions you’ve made. And, to tell the truth, the failed comeback attempt last summer gave me reason to reconsider my situation.

    “I was surprised myself how fast and how strong I committed myself to this topic again. Apparently, my batteries recharged completely during the last three years. And when – thanks to Ross [Brawn] – the opportunity arose to drive for Mercedes GP, I realized that my old motivation was back, full of fresh energy and great force.”

    He added: “Physically, I feel absolutely fit. I already realised in [the] summer how fast I achieved my former performance values by exercising specifically. And ever since, I kept on exercising. My neck is absolutely free of complaints. I can now do the same neck work-out as I did when I was still racing.

    “This wasn’t possible in summer because back then only five months had passed since my accident and so my neck wasn’t cured completely. In the meantime this isn’t a problem any more.”

    Schumacher said that Ross Brawn initially approached him at the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but it was not until a phone call last month that the situation really developed.

    “Of course it plays a major role that I again can work together with Ross at Mercedes GP. Above all, however, my old hunger for racing is back.

    “In Abu Dhabi, when Ross asked me if I could imagine returning to F1, I felt that I wasn’t ready for it. But only two weeks later, when he called me once again, I realised that my old passion was returning. Suddenly I was on fire again. For me, the imagination to be back in a F1 car and to compete for the world championships is exciting and extremely inspiring.”

    And Schumacher has expressed some sadness at having to leave Ferrari for his latest challenge.

    “Ferrari and I have been working together for 14 years and I’ve experienced a lot of great moments with the team during this time,” he said.

    “Most of my life as a Formula 1 driver is ‘red’ and so there is strong solidarity and loyalty to these guys who have accompanied me and have always built great cars for me. This solidarity will remain, even though our teams will be competitors on the race track – because I’m certain that Ferrari will regain its former strength since the crew is really strong and committed.”


  7. Bernie Ecclestone reckons the return of Michael Schumacher will make 2010 a ‘jaw-dropping’ season, and is an enormous boost for the sport.

    After recent negative headlines caused by manufacturer pull-outs and the early-2009 political rows, Schumacher’s comeback with Mercedes, Fernando Alonso’s switch to Ferrari and McLaren’s pairing of world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button has created great excitement about next year’s championship.

    Ecclestone said this proves the strength of F1, and predicted an epic contest in 2010.

    “I always said that Formula 1 is a strong brand,” Ecclestone told the official F1 website. “It has demonstrated time and again that it can pull itself up by its own bootstraps. And yes, all indications point to a jaw-dropping season. Fans will love it.

    “I think it is fantastic for Formula 1 that [Schumacher] turned into a comeback kid. But at the same time I also think that it’s good for Michael.

    “When drivers have put in many years they sometimes lose focus and motivation – probably that was one of the reasons for his retirement in 2006 – but now he has again put all his strength together and has a 100 per cent motivation level and that will give us many exciting races in 2010.”

    The F1 supremo is confident that Schumacher will be a title threat, noting that his development skills could be a key asset for Mercedes.

    “Forget about winning races – I have him on my bill for winning the championship,” Ecclestone replied when asked if he thought Schumacher would be a winner next year.

    “He will be of immense value for the team to push the development of the car. We have all seen in the past that he was never satisfied unless the car was in perfect condition. With his drive for the optimum and his deep technical understanding he will save the team precious time.”

    And despite suggestions that Mercedes’ other driver Nico Rosberg will end up being overshadowed by his seven-time champion compatriot, Ecclestone believes Rosberg will gain from driving a car developed by Schumacher.

    “Nico Rosberg will be the one who will directly benefit from all this,” said Ecclestone.

    He added that confirmation of Schumacher’s return had come as no surprise to him.

    “I was pretty sure that he would do it if his physical status would allow it,” he said. “Now we know the answer.”


  8. Q&A interview with Michael Schumacher as posted by Full article below:

    Now it’s official: Michael Schumacher will compete again in F1 racing after a contract was sealed with the newly-formed Mercedes team. Schumacher has fancied the idea of a comeback ever since replacing the injured Felipe Massa became a possibility. However, had it not been for the formation of the Ross Brawn-led Mercedes squad, he would have never thought a full-time return more than a pipe dream…

    Q: Michael, welcome back to Formula One. Your signature on the contract has hardly dried – can you say something about the content of your contract?
    Michael Schumacher: Yep, the deal was done only hours ago. Regarding the driving, the time frame is three years. There was never any intention to do a one-off. There will be an option after that to be brand ambassador for Mercedes, which would make sense in a way.

    Q: So you are really planning to race again for three years?
    MS: Correct.

    Q: How did those last few weeks of negotiations feel? Was there a certain level of excitement or has F1 hardened you and it was just one of those things?
    MS: Hardened? Not at all. This morning when I was talking to my new race engineer I was feeling like a 12- year old boy who is jumping from excitement at the prospect of a new toy. I am so excited – I cannot repeat it often enough. True, I will be 41 years old, but the combination of Ross and Mercedes is something that I believe in – and I believe in myself as well. There was never a moment of doubt.

    Q: What was your motivation to come back?
    MS: Well, that was pretty straightforward. At the end of November I got a call from Ross concerning an option to go racing again. Having got that call from him and the information that Mercedes will be involved, that did it. I kind of never left the race track up to 2006, so I was pretty tired back then, with a lack of motivation and energy. Three years’ absence has reloaded my batteries and having played around with motor bikes, go-karts and all kind of things I now feel ready again for some serious stuff.

    Q: Planning to race for three years, you must be pretty sure that your neck problem has vanished…
    MS: Sure, that was the crucial question for me as it had not worked out in the summer. Before I gave my final okay I worked out, to be sure for myself – and now I know that the neck is no longer as issue. Unfortunately I was not ready in the summer when I tried to step in for Felipe as it was too close to the accident.

    Q: Aged 40, do you still have that ferocious will to win that was so predominant in you before, to go fighting again wheel-to-wheel with the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton?
    MS: I am absolutely sure. After that bike accident, when I got into a kart for the first time I immediately had the pace again. Sure, that’s a small proof and I have to demonstrate it again in a real car. And if that means to take it wheel-to-wheel with those guys, then that’s exciting. I am very much looking forward to it. When you take all the opinions from the outside, then everybody seems to be very convinced that I still have what it takes.

    Q: You have obviously switched colours: how difficult was it to leave Ferrari and come back with Mercedes?
    MS: That, sure, was not an easy step, honestly. I have a lot of friends at Ferrari and I have fantastic memories from my time with them. But (Ferrari chairman) Luca di Montezemolo helped easing the situation a lot in a conversation that I had with him. He knew that I was very disappointed in the summer when my condition did not allow me to finish the season for Ferrari, and that Ferrari – due to long term commitments – were not in a position to offer me more. Probably the only reason for my return now is because old friends have asked me: Ross, together with Mercedes, to give back something to Mercedes for their support in my early days.

    Q: Was the possibility of standing in for Felipe the spark that triggered your ambition to come back, or had that ambition been lingering already for quite some time?
    MS: You could say it was that replacement scenario that triggered everything.

    Q: You have a great reputation. Aren’t you scared of putting all that on the line? People will always judge you by what you’ve done before…
    MS: I hope that people will judge me on what I’ve done before. And look at the situation – I’m with a team that has won both championships this year, so their only route can be to defend these two titles. Yes, there will be strong competition – I predict very tight again, as we have seen this season – and I am absolutely thrilled to be back in it.

    Q: Did you speak with your family before you decided to come back?
    MS: Obviously. Making such a step requires that you sort out your personal situation first. There was no doubt in the family that I should do it. My wife has always been keen to see me happy and when I asked her opinion and she saw my eyes – the sparkle – she didn’t argue against it for one second. She said ‘go and have fun’.

    Q: Were you unhappy in those three years of not driving?
    MS: As I’ve explained earlier, at the end of the 2006 season I’d lost motivation and energy, so it was a somewhat logical step to quit. At that point I was pretty sure that this was it, as I could have never imagined returning. In those last three years I’ve played around in many areas. Such a team combination as the one we now have was beyond imagination, and when it became reality and I was asked to join I was absolutely thrilled. Why not?

    Q: There was a quick survey this morning in Germany when the news broke and 70 percent of the participants are sure that you will fight again for the championship. Do you share that view?
    MS: Let’s hope they are right.

    Q: Do you expect the competition to be tougher than it was some years ago?
    MS: Probably tighter, yes. Tougher? No, why? There have always been top drivers around – that will never change. And I see chances for me to fit into that mould again. That’s why I am coming back.

    Q: Have you been in a simulator in the last few weeks since you started considering your return and do you expect the cars to be very different from where you left them in 2006?
    MS: I have not been in a simulator other than my personal one. Yes, the cars will be slightly different, but I’ve driven so many cars with different characteristics over the years. That is something that I see as the strong part of myself – to be able to adapt, so I am looking forward to the 2010 machines.

    Q: You can judge your level of fitness very accurately. How do you compare that level now to how you were in 2006?
    MS: I have no doubt that I will achieve the same level as when I left Formula One three years ago. I have never really stopped working on my fitness so that was never a point of concern.

    Q: It is no secret that you are a little bit older than your opponents. Could coming back and winning races – and possibly winning the championship again – turn into the greatest achievement of your career?
    MS: It certainly would be a unique experience and a unique achievement. But first let me get into the car and then talk later.

  9. Q&A interview with Ross Brawn. Courtesy from

    The dream team is reunited again – Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn, a combination that bore so many titles at Benetton and Ferrari. Last season Brawn proved he can do it with another driver, but there is something special about seeing him and Schumacher set for even more wins with the newly-formed Mercedes team…

    Q: Ross, did you hire Michael because you’ve got rid of Jenson or did you hire Michael because Jenson slipped through your fingers?
    Ross Brawn: It overlaps, to be honest. I have a loyalty to Jenson so I hoped to find a solution and when I saw that this would get difficult I started to talk to Michael, and things developed there. Michael and I kept very close over the years and I saw from his disappointment over the summer, when he couldn’t drive a Ferrari, how much passion he still has for the sport. We were all very excited from the prospect of having Michael racing for us and when we started talking it was not a difficult discussion.

    Q: There are still some tales around that Jenson was ushered towards the door because people wanted Michael in…
    RB: We’ve made a good effort to find a solution with Jenson and it didn’t work out. Jenson made his decision in the end not to stay. We made a big effort to keep him but it wasn’t possible in the end. Now we are all pretty excited of the prospect of having Michael as part of the team. Jenson made the decision not to sign and we’ve made a big effort to keep him.

    Q: How confident are you of Michael’s level to deliver?
    RB: I’ve asked Michael that question and he is the best judge in what he can do and I trust him completely. He told me that he can do it, so I am very confident. He has always been his own best critic. He always knew best of what he is capable of and so I put my trust in Michael and I am sure it won’t be misplaced.

  10. It seems Damon Hill agrees with you Janus whether Michael Schumacher still has the desire to compete again. Read the article in full below as taken from

    Damon Hill reckons Michael Schumacher’s Formula 1 comeback might remind him why he wanted to stop racing in the first place.

    Schumacher’s first major rivalry in F1 was with Hill as the pair battled for world championships in the mid-1990s, with the German beating the Briton in both 1994 and 1995, before Schumacher’s move to the then-troubled Ferrari team left the way clear for Hill and Williams to dominate in 1996.

    Hill suspects that Schumacher’s excitement at his comeback could waver when the long grind of a full season begins, and that there will soon be speculation about when he will stop racing again.

    “Mentally you’ve got to stop anyway, so there is always that question, even though you’ve come back and you’re going to be enjoying it,” Hill told BBC Radio Five Live.

    “At some point in the season it’s going to get very tough and it’s going to get unpleasant, and it might bring back memories of why you’ve retired in the first place.

    “We’ll have to see. A season is a long time and it will put Michael through a severe test of his abilities.”

    But Hill is certain that Schumacher will still be a force to be reckoned with on-track despite being the oldest driver in the 2010 field.

    “Forty one is definitely getting towards the ‘over the hill’ stage, but you’re talking about a very unusual individual, and someone who has done nothing else but race in some form or another all his life, and he’s clearly missed it,” Hill said.

    “He’s set himself up now with a golden opportunity to add to his tally of world championships.”

    Hill was 39 years old when he retired from F1 at the end of 1999. Since then he has only competed at historic events such as the Goodwood Revival, and has become president of Silverstone’s owner, the British Racing Drivers’ Club. He also actively supports the racing career of his 18-year-old son Josh, who currently races in Formula Ford.

  11. Michael Schumacher says that Ferrari will always have a place in his heart, following his 14 years with the marque before joining Mercedes GP.

    In an open letter to Ferrari fans distributed through the Italian media, Schumacher pays tribute to the prancing horse and its followers and says he hopes they will carry on supporting him in future.

    “For 14 years I was a part of Ferrari and for 14 years Ferrari was a part of me,” he said. “A sizeable chunk of Ferrari will always stay in my heart. I will always think of the warmth, the strength and the dedication I received for so many years from Italian Ferrari fans.

    “I have felt welcomed by you, and I have tried to give you joy and passion when I fought on the tracks and rejoiced with you after victories.”

    Schumacher says he has learned from Ferrari and expects the team to have a strong season in 2010.

    “I have found many friends and learned a lot in the years I spent at Ferrari,” wrote Schumacher. “I carefully observed the way to face things and have often underlined this attitude in Germany: no moaning but rather trying to see the beauty and the goodness in what’s unavoidable, and rejoicing.

    “Now a new chapter begins for me. I will race on the track against Ferrari with the utmost respect. I’m convinced these will be hard battles. Indeed, I’m certain Ferrari will be able to show its historical strength because I know what these guys are able to do.

    “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me. I’d be happy if, besides the two Ferrari drivers, you’d carry on giving me a bit of your unlimited liking.”


  12. Hmmmmmm the more I read the more I think Michael might struggle ( thanks to Eltons extensive write up 😀 ) But for now,

    Now while I’m no Shuey die hard fan, that’s for sure, as his reign certainly got the FIA tagged as Ferrari International Assistance. I mean come on ramming your opponent so that you win the championship!!! Sure that can be classed as deliberately crashing? Now wait a moment! I surely remember something like that happening not so long ago and people were hanged or something?!

    However, I bow down in no uncertain terms to the great mans driving ability. if your car’s shit, then he’ll tell you. If somethings not right, he’ll tell you. If it’s the dog’s he’ll not say a word and ask you to make it better. No actually he’ll tell you what to do to make it better. How the eff else could Ferrari turn from joke to poke to unbeatable in just a few years? He, along with Ross Brawn made for a unstoppable force. Michael drove a car better than anyone and Ross controlled the strategy better than anyone else. ANYTHING anyone did to get an upper hand was defeated moments later via a tyre call, fuel call or insane driving. Remember one race in the wet ( cannot recall at all which one ) where by everyone else was on wet tyres and Shuey was still on slicks. And God damn he was overtaking people inc race leader ( I think ) Mr Hill! You just cannot compete with that! Murray and his sidekick along with everyone else watching just sat there open mouthed. You just couldn’t say anything watching such a arse kicking!

    So will it be the same on 2010? No of course not. Can Michael win races? Yes. Can Michael and Ross get that magic back? Yes. Can Michael win a championship? Er…….

    See getting to that final point is my stumbling block, and yes I think it’s his age. having the huge urge to get racing again can only carry you so far. Despite the ability, all those years out will be a huge factor. If this was any other racing category then it would be different. But in any other sport, there would be a hell of a lot more talk of this will never work. He’s too old, out for too long etc. could a 41 year old win Wimbledon? Tour De france? Could you bow out for 3 years. come back and be the same? Only boxing I think could a comeback or age defeat your opponent with such a comeback as this. Indeed it has done so.
    But he fitness levels of the driver today is insane. Boxing needs a strong jaw and a few good punches to win, least for heavyweights.OK so some drivers fitness is better than others and the 2009 Brawn team is a perfect example. Look at a one, two result and see how much better Button looked compared to Rubins. It might not effect the persons ability too much when you’ve never been out of a F1 car, but years out of one? OK so chucking a bike around a track is one thing but an F1 is altogether different. What about the neck? A stress test on a neck is one thing, but will it hold up for 5g braking and turning for a few hours every other weekend? How about 40 or 50 degree heat AND 5g?

    Now I am 100% sure this has been thought about a great deal. This is the comeback of all comebacks and with one of the greatest reputations along with a pointed star instead of a prancing horse. This cannot be anything other than a very, very serious move and one that while a championship doesn’t HAVE to be won, an VERY impressive year it HAS to be.

    I’m sure it will be, but at 41, I just don’t think, even considering the greatest duo in F1 history, there is time to get to the greatest heights. Mclaren, Ferrari have had time to actually design a car that ain’t a complete turd. Red Bull are on a complete high and surely would have had the green light for more resources. Also mixing it with the big boys gives you a better experience on how to win than anything else.

    So it’ll will still be extremely tough, but one things for sure. No matter he’s 41, Merc GP had, just HAD to get Michael. They would be nowhere next year IMHO without a top flight driver. I like Nico Rosberg immensely, but he isn’t up there with the best just yet. No-one else high end was available, so I think they would have flopped and it would be a crying shame if they were not tussling with the big boys again next year. Now they certainly can, and lets face it, they’ll still be British to us.

    One things for sure, for us at home, 2010 is going to god damn ROCK!!

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