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.