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Relishing Schumacher's return

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Andrew Benson | 08:48 UK time, Thursday, 30 July 2009

When Lewis Hamilton made his Formula 1 debut in March 2007, he said his one regret was that he had never got to race against Michael Schumacher. Now, in remarkable circumstances, he will get his wish.

The world champion, though, will not be the only one licking his lips at the prospect of the most successful man in F1 history making a comeback as a temporary replacement for the injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. Suddenly the prospect of the unloved European Grand Prix at Valencia looks a whole lot more appealing.

For Ferrari, it was a no-brainer to ask Schumacher to come out of retirement as a stand-in for Massa, who suffered a fractured skull when he was hit on the helmet by a spring from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn while travelling at more than 160mph during qualifying for last weekend's Hungarian race.

At a time when F1 grids are incredibly closely matched and Ferrari do not have a particularly competitive car, their test drivers Marc Gene and Luca Badoer offered the same underwhelming prospect - a midfield grid position and anonymous race to, perhaps, a point or two.

Set that against the idea of thrilling F1 fans the world over, and garnering acres of coverage, by putting a seven-time world champion in the car and sitting back to see how a legend, at the age of 40, stacks up against the new generation.

Even Schumacher's spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, mentioned his age when BBC Sport broke the story on Tuesday that he would consider a return. But this will almost certainly not be a major issue.

The cars are no more physical now than when Nigel Mansell won the world championship shortly after turning 39 in 1992. Alain Prost was 38 when he won the fourth title of his illustrious career the following season.

Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa

Schumacher has kept himself fit and, although he is not able to test between now and getting into the car for the first time for Friday practice on 21 August in Valencia, he will spend long hours in Ferrari's simulator - and yet more in the gym.

Commitment and desire are more of an issue for a competitor of Schumacher's age. It is not skill that wanes in F1 drivers as they grow older, rather that they begin to question why they are repeatedly putting their lives on the line for the same - or even diminishing - ends.

But Schumacher is not a man who makes these sorts of decisions lightly, and he will have taken a long, hard look inside himself before making this one.

Some have suggested that he is risking his reputation by stepping back into the cockpit after nearly three years away. But I don't see it that way. Whatever happens in these next few months, nothing can detract from what Schumacher achieved in his career.

Did anyone think less of Lance Armstrong when he could manage 'only' third place on his return to the Tour de France this month? To dive back into arguably the world's toughest sporting event a couple of months short of his 38th birthday, four years after the last of his seven wins, and go toe-to-toe with the very best only enhanced the reputation of a true legend of the sport.

So it will be with Schumacher. He knows the stakes. He will have no illusions about what he is up against.

By the time he retired in 2006, the German's position as F1's pre-eminent driver was being challenged by Fernando Alonso - and Schumacher will not have forgotten the moments that encapsulated the passing of the mantle, such as the Spaniard's incredibly courageous, quite brilliant overtaking manoeuvre around the outside of him at more than 200mph at Suzuka's daunting 130R corner in Japan in 2005.

First and foremost, though, Schumacher has to confront Kimi Raikkonen, the man who took his place at Ferrari and who is now his team-mate.

The Finn won the world championship in his first season with the Italian team in 2007, but he has looked half asleep through most of 2008 and 2009. Schumacher's arrival, though, will be like an electric shock to him - the biggest wake-up call he has ever experienced.

For all his laid-back demeanour, Raikkonen will be out to prove a point in these remaining races of 2009. And, like Schumacher, he, too, knows the stakes.

Although it has not been officially confirmed, and although Alonso (sort of) denies it, it is an open secret in F1 that the Spaniard will be driving one of the Ferraris next season. The only question is who will be in the other car - a tricky dilemma given that both Raikkonen and Massa are under contract until the end of 2010.

The word in the F1 paddock is that Ferrari have told the other teams Raikkonen is available, but he is having trouble finding somewhere that a) can take him and b) he wants to go. But if he can consistently beat Schumacher Raikkonen might find that he saves his job, leaving Massa - assuming he is able to return to full fitness and wants to get back into an F1 car - looking for a new home.

Such considerations only add spice to the most eagerly anticipated comeback in F1 since Niki Lauda's in 1982.

When the Austrian was tempted back by Marlboro and McLaren after two years running his airline, there were those who doubted his motivation and wondered whether he could be competitive. So it is with Schumacher.

But those who question Schumacher's decision might do well to remember a little vignette that took place last Thursday in the media conference room at the Hungaroring.

BMW driver Robert Kubica was talking about a karting event that he and Toyota's Timo Glock had organised the previous weekend.

"We knew that maybe Michael (Schumacher) was coming," said Kubica, one of the most highly rated drivers in F1, "so we asked some drivers and they joined us. We had good fun, a good day's driving. Also a bit of competition because once you have drivers - even if it is not an F1 track, but karting - there is always competition. There is always someone who wants to be the fastest but overall I think it was good fun."

So who was fastest, Robert, someone asked.

"Michael was the fastest," he said.

This has been far from Ferrari's most competitive season. But Raikkonen finished second in Hungary last weekend. I, for one, would not bet against Schumacher winning a race before the season is out.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Well I for one am now looking forward to the Valencia GP, What was promising to be another boring run-of-the-mill weekend has now been given the kick up the backside it desperately needed. As a fan of Jenson/Brawn GP & Hamilton I am relishing the chance to see my new hero's race against my old hero!

  • Comment number 2.

    i just can't wait to see the greatest F1 driver back in the seat doing what he loves. I'm not expecting miracles and people shouldn#'t hype it up too much. I think it's a guy coming back to help out a mate and a family that supported him so much. Good on him! If we get some battles with the new generation of drivers then that's an added bonus.
    The only thing i'm curious about is everyone saying this will be a wake up call for Kimi. Will it? I don't think it will have much of an impact on him. He doesn't seem to care about too much of anything, well he doesn't Show that he cares. I hope he proves me wrong, it was one of the happiest days for me in Formula1 when he was announced as Schumi's replacement, but now all i can think about is how good Alonso will be at Ferrari taking Kimi's spot.
    Anyway lets hope for some great races for the rest of the season and fingers crossed for a michael schumacher vs sebastien 'baby schumi' vettel battle!

  • Comment number 3.

    Very true about Raikkonen, this could light a fire under him again.

    As I said before, Schumacher could crash out of every race for the rest of this season - it still wouldn't dent what he achieved in the past. So anything good he achieves is pure gravy at this point. I don't know if I could put money on a win but a podium placing would be tremendous.

  • Comment number 4.

    If I was one of the Ferrari test & reserve drivers I would be feeling more than a little insulted right now.

    The only chance one of these drivers gets to race is when their is a problem, now even that slim chance has been snatched away and handed to a guy who hasn't sat in an F1 car in 3 years.

    Don't expect Kimi will be too worried.

  • Comment number 5.

    I for one feel sorry for Marc Gené [and to a lesser extent for Luca Badoer]

    I started watching F1 in 1991 and therefore was subjected to watching F1 die during the Schumacher era. Obviously Bernie Ecclestone, Max Mosley and Ferrari International Assistance will be delighted that the much lauded Mr. Schumacher will be returning, if nothing else it will mean that those who have failed to get into the 2009 season [seriously, check for pulse] will now want to watch because Michael has come back to save F1I think I might paint my fence whilst hes on!

  • Comment number 6.

    A really good article, but maybe the phrase 'no-brainer' was not really appropriate?

  • Comment number 7.

    Michael Schumacher will be able to do no wrong in Valencia.


    If he wins or gets on the podium, he will be described as the greatest driver of all time (which is quite possibly true).
    If he scores points, he will be praised for having hit the ground running.
    If he finishes outside the points, it will be said that he put in a fantastic effort given the circumstances.
    If he finishes last or retires, all the talk will be about how much the cars have changed since he last raced, how this was a new track for him, etc.

    If he drives a clean race he will be praised for driving maturely.
    If he takes a car or two out it will be said that he hasn't lost any of his competitiveness.

    If he beats Lewis or Kimi, there will be asterisks placed next to their world championships to denote "without Schumacher".


    Some people are saying that he has got nothing to gain and everything to lose, but I don't really see how he can damage his reputation at all.

  • Comment number 8.

    I know all the talk is of Rosberg taking Kovalainen's seat at McLaren next season, but surely now we've got to look at the prospect of Kubica, and one of Raikonnen and Massa as well, provided Kovy doesn't do enough to keep that seat? When can we speculate properly about driving line ups for next season?

  • Comment number 9.

    I still think it's a shame for F1 that - in a sport that only 20 lucky drivers in the whole world can take part in at any one time - ex-drivers are the one's called on instead of new young talent. There must be so many drivers out there who would give everything for the chance. But - i guess it's about media coverage. I don't think Micheal can be accused of 'knowing the car' though, as he won't get in it until first practice.

    Still - I'm loving the thought of Schumi against Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and co. Can't wait! My prediction - Schumi for pole, Hamilton waves hello as he passes him into the first corner with his KERS boost :0)

  • Comment number 10.

    its all well him coming back but will he still have the FIA riding shotgun with him like the old days?

  • Comment number 11.

    Strange that Schumacher wasn't willing to do a proper lap in the "star in a reasonably priced car" on Top Gear (presumably because he didn't think he had anything to gain, and everything to lose), and yet is now getting in an F1 car again. That said of course, the Ferrari paddock doesn't have to put up with the inane twitterings of Richard Hammond.

  • Comment number 12.

    Reminds me of Kevin Keegan's return to Newcastle - a desperate attempt to rebuild by the return of a past hero.
    The key difference, I suppose, is that Keegan's career was already damaged before his return. By contrast Schumacher has 'halo' status across the sport so it will take a lot to damage it. That said, I can't imagine Schumi will be that competitive especially during the races when his stamina will surely be tested; he's going to have to put in some heroic performances on the track.
    Overall, in an era where the publicity around the support is almost always negative it is good to have something to look forward to. Congratulations Bernie...

  • Comment number 13.

    It is a no-brainer for Ferarri and Schumacher, but I echo the sentiments of some others in that too much will be expected of the man. Surely Schumacher's role is to do a solid job and get the car round the track, rather than go out all guns blazing and try to win every race he enters? I know that sounds defeatist, but at this point in time I would have thought Ferarri's aim is to maintain a presence on the track and not get their hopes up too much.

    In an ideal world Schumacher will come back and shake everyone up, but I just can't see it happening. I keep my fingers crossed that I am wrong.

    http://www.loserscomesecond.com/

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    The problem with Test and Reserve drivers is that they may not yet have got the experience needed to compete in an F1 Race. You need to remember that we have 20 or so cars going at speeds of around 200 mPh at times and the drivers mainly are in respect of each other and know exactly 99 out of 100 how that driver is going to take that corner. With the new guys they need to gain that experience. I would like to suggest on F1 week-ends there is some sort of 'warm-up' championship in that each team can enter these test and reserve drivers so that they get competitive experience. Then the real talent will come through etc.

  • Comment number 16.

    Mr Schumacher has very much gone up in my estimation with this decision, regardless of how well he performs on the track.

    My only problem with ranking Schumacher amongst the absolute greats of the sport is the fact that he never seemed to care much about what he left behind, his legacy. His career was all about him winning and he retired, not because he lost the ability, or, I would say, the hunger, but because he didn't want to have to race Raikkonen in the other car.

    In truth, I only started missing Schumi after he retired. It has provided three quite open seasons as so often happens after the leading driver retires (think Stewart, Fangio) [Aided by Alonso and Raikkonen switching teams of course] Once someone of his presence and ability goes, you notice the change.

    I scoffed at the rumours of his return because taking chances is not Michael's style. If he returns there is a chance he will not be competitive, a chance he may be beaten by the other Ferrari. Massive respect for him taking this chance.

    I'm now *incredibly* excited about Valencia. I can't wait to see how Raikkonen reacts ( presumably he is the contracted no.2 now right? ;) ), and whether the old dog has got it in him. The only dampener is that Alonso wont be there, thanks to more hogwash from the FIA. I can't believe we have to wait a whole month!

  • Comment number 17.

    When Schumacher used to race I couldn't stand him. He seemed to come across as such an arrogant so and so (probably due to the fact that he was supremely talented and even he knew it). Since retiring and watching interviews with him, he comes across well now and he's suprisingly quite funny, a trait I thought Germans stereotypically lacked. I really can't wait for his return and I even want to see him win a race. Just one mind, don't want him to get too carried away. GO SCHUMI!

  • Comment number 18.

    Interesting to see this article described as "gushing". It's not meant to be a summary of his career, but an assessment of the issues surrounding his return. I am, of course, as aware of Schumacher's failings as anyone, as I wrote (and was criticised for) when he retired in 2006: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/5320026.stm

  • Comment number 19.

    Valencia billed as the Spanish Monaco IT turned out to look like the seedy side of a container base.I never thought I would welcome Michael back but face it Valencia needs something.That aside my interest in pitting shoemaker against the new kids.So roll on the European GP.

  • Comment number 20.

    As I've said before, was never a fan of Schumacher(felt that his dominance made the sport boring sometimes) but I can't deny that this is a seriously big deal. The nearest equivilent in my memory was Mansell's comeback in '94-'95 and he picked up a win there.

    If Michael doesn't at least score points I'll be very surprised.

  • Comment number 21.

    The naysayers and knockers are back in full force. Easy for Hamilton to bleat about how he never got to race the Schu, but I bet he's not sleeping quite so easy now that it's real. As the saying goes mate, be careful what you wish for......

    This is the greatest thing in the world to be happening for F1. Not only because I'm a mad tifosi, but given amibitions of Mad Max to single-handedly destroy F1 this will generate some positive headlines and get people excited about the sport for a change

  • Comment number 22.

    Andrew - this is a fantastic blog!
    It'll be an historic event no matter what happens.
    I just hope Renault have their ban overturned to allow Alonso to race at Valencia.
    Whether you like Schumacher or not, he remains one of the few drivers that has that aura about him.
    Legendary status is achieved by beating legendary drivers- think Senna v Prost;Prost v Mansell: Mansell v Senna etc - I think he retired too early. He would have been quite capable of winning the world championship in 07.
    The competition between himself and Alonso was starting to mature, taking us out the fallow years of tepid rivalries in the mid-90's/ the early 2000's...maybe the tragic death of Senna in '04 was a psychological hammer blow for the emerging crop of drivers.
    Alonso was the one to really take the mantle to Schumacher's dominance, and in turn Hamilton to Alonso, with Vettel showing signs of what's to come.It is what the sport needs. The sorry politics wielded by McLaren has exaggerated opinions and not helped in endearing ourselves to either Alonso or Hamilton. A past legend like Schumacher can be the remedy in helping enshrine the current crop as legends of F1.

  • Comment number 23.

    As a Schumie fan I'm looking forward to the future races. Yse he's been out of physical racing F1 but he's been there as a consultant and advises Massa. If there had been testing then I think he would have been in the car feeding back the information to the engineers to make it a challenging car......now he can do that. Lets face it he is unlike any other driver and can feed information back about the car that can only be a great help to Ferrari. Never mind Valencia....you wait until Spa!!

  • Comment number 24.

    Lewis Hamilton has nothing to fear. He has already raced against and overwhelmed the one driver who managed to beat Schumy, FA, the reason why he decided to leave the competition. Let's only hope that Renault gets it together and no more mistakes mean that LH, FA, Schumi, Raikkonen Webber and Vettel will be racing to get to the podium. It will be the closest race ever. Incidentally Schumacher makes his return in a land run by Zapatero, the spanish equivalent of Schumacher... Unfortunately boring Valencia does not allow for overtaking. If it rains it will pour though. If there is one of those heatwaves, temperatures will be between 35 to 40 degrees and that also might benefit the Brawns...

  • Comment number 25.

    @jonbonjonas

    Personally I wouldn't be surprised if he did do a a lap on the Top Gear test track, just not a filmed on. His Fiat contract no doubt prevents him driving none Fiat Family cars on camera but I'm sure someone like Schumi would have wanted to privately see how he could do compared to the other F1 drivers who have done it

  • Comment number 26.

    Reply to comment No.11 Jonbonjonas:
    Michael could not have got into the Lacetti even if he wanted to! He is under contract to the Ferrari/ Fiat group and he he cannot be seen driving a car outside this group!
    Cant wait for Valencia - watch the trailer for Rocky 6 - now tell me this isnt the same! ;)

  • Comment number 27.

    Could he really be as good as he was? Who knows. He was capable of raising average cars to great positions. The Ferrari qualifying belies its decent race pace - a podium at each of the last two races shows it.

    It can only help Kimi - he will NOT want to be beaten, especially in qualifying.

    I missed the Valencia GP last year, it doesn't sound like a great track, but now it should be a blast!

  • Comment number 28.

    Without a doubt Schumy has been a true hero and legend of F1, but with the heroics and antics of current world champion Hamilton over the last 2 seasons, the return of Schumy should be a mouth watering clash indeed. Some will say that Schumy is the best driver of our time with 7 world championship, while others will contend that prety boy Hamilton is the best thing since slice bread. In the area of looks and charm, they are certainly evenly matched. Can you imagine a real life clash between Ali and Tyson being possible? Game on!

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    "Schumacher makes shock F1 return "

    Only if it had been Ralf would it have been a shock.

    There's no Jean Todt or Ross Brawn and this year's car wasn't designed to be raced by Schumacher, so let's be realistic please. It's unlikely he'll have quite the same impact as Mario Andretti did, as the car is not automatically a front-runner and Schumacher will not have the opportunity to make it one.

  • Comment number 31.

    Lots of hurrra for nothing, I would say. Ferrari is fighting just to stay alive, makes not that much of difference, whether Ferrari has one or two drivers racing, considering the over all standing. MS is not the man he used to be. The car is not the same, he used to drive. Might be even a mistake to jump into the same river twice, but than, he is done it all, and has nothing to preserve anymore. Personally,.....the bubble will go down just as fast as it went up.

  • Comment number 32.

    Valencia last year was an absolute non event, it showed Ecclestone up for his money grabbing greedy ways, and left egg on his face.

    This year, however, instead of us all remembering just how bad that 'race' was, we are now talking about schumacher.

    Although many hated ferrari and schumachers dominance, i think everyone cant wait to see him race again now.

    As for raikkonen and massa, IF massa isnt blind in one eye then he might get another season, raikkonen looks like he has lost all motivation and heading to rallying, whereas the alonso deal is pretty much done.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think this is one of the smartest move from the Ferrari's Board.

    First of all, during this two year of F1, Ferrari lost a bit of direction(even though massa is second last year), the limelight switch to Lewis obviously. What Ferrari need is a celebrity-status like driver to drive for them and no one is better than Schumi for this. This will switch the limelight back to Ferrari even until Schumi retires yet again.

    Second of all, no matter Schumi drive brilliantly or badly, he is still a seven-time world champion. When people loves him, they will love him no matter how he did. People hates him because he dominate the sport with some ego, but this bravery move from Schumi to step from retirement must gain a lot of respect from this guy.

    So I can only say this must be a win-win situation no matter what the outcome will be.

  • Comment number 34.

    @ 29. SportsSportsSportsBs

    Get off that fence! Glad to read something that for once isn't all gushy, warm and fuzzy about Schumacher. Interesting points made...

  • Comment number 35.

    First up I'm definately not a Schumacher fan. The fact that he didn't let Irvine and Barrichello race him speaks volumes. Also as has been previously stated, this must be a massive kick in the teeth to the Ferrari test drivers. They must be thinking will they ever get a chance.

    I do agree it will be interesting to see him back and see if it does ignite Kimi into upping his game. But even though this is the 'great' Schumacher, with the testing ban I just can't see him being competitive. I'll prepare myself to have egg on my face!

    As for Massa, thank god he is making good progress but he's absolutely out for the rest of the season. And when you consider that Peter Cech has to wear a skull cap 3 or so years after having a fractured skull to play football, I just cannot say anyway at the moment that he will ever be able to come back. I do hope I am wrong on that because he showed us last year what a talent he is, and this year's car hasn't been good enough for him to re-produce that. That being said, if Massa can't come back what are Ferrari going to do?

  • Comment number 36.

    I am hearing a lot of people in the media, pundits and ex-racers alike, commenting on how Schumacher may struggle as his body won't be used to the pounding inflicted by an F1 car and how he can't drive due to ban on testing. Well what everyone seems to overlook is that the ban only applies to testing on the current car. He (and other test drivers) are perfectly entitled to keep themselves tuned in by getting in an old car and have a blast round a track. Seeing as Ferrari own their own circuit and no doubt have the odd old car knocking around I am sure he will have piled on a few thousand miles by the time Valencia comes around. Sure he won't be fully tuned into the new car but his body will be more than ready and a born racer like Schumacher (as much as I dislike the guy) should take around 20 laps to get fully up to speed. I fully expect him to be up there with the top drivers, hopefully having some wheel to wheel action with Hamilton and Vettel!

  • Comment number 37.

    Well, I'm no Schumacher fan, for the reasons given by SportSportSportBS, but I have to admit I'm intrigued and will watch with great interest to see how he gets on against Hamilton, Raikonnen, Vettel and Webber.

    I hope Renault and Brawn can do something with their cars, so Alonso and Button can have a crack at him too.

  • Comment number 38.

    @SportsSportsSportsBs

    Get off it mate! Schumacher is very ruthless, I'll give you that, but to say he's a cheater? Doesn't fly with me...
    94 was a bit iffy and quite ruthless...
    97, if Schumacher hadn't have turned in, Villeneuve would've taken both of them out anyway with that kamikaze move...
    Austria was a disgrace which was the team trying to wrap up the championship they hadn't won for 29 years! They were desperate and I truly think he would've settled for second.
    As for Monaco 06...well, i've seen worse...really I have...

    Schumacher coming back into the sport is just the shot in the arm it needs! More people will watch, more people will buy merchandise, and people will hopefully get off the backs of the poor buggers like Jenson Button who has been brilliant this year, leading the world championship and who has a little moan about his car...isn't that what EVERY driver in living history does when they aren't winning?? Lewis has been doing it all year up until now, Rubens blamed the team, Bourdais blamed everything...if there is one thing everyone should know by now about F1, it's never the drivers fault!! LOL :P

    I for one can't wait for Valencia, should be an absolute spectacle to see the 7 times world champ strapping on the boots again to go around against the blokes who looked up to him and chased him around for a few years. Brilliant move by all concerned, let's just hope there are no more loose springs to destroy the season (and possibly career) of any more drivers.
    Hope to see you back soon Felipe :) your ride is in good hands...

  • Comment number 39.

    If - against all odds - Schuey does win at Valencia, will he finally reveal himself as The Stig?

  • Comment number 40.

    Fair enough Gene and Badoer may feel slightly aggrieved at not getting the nod but seriously how can they be annoyed when instead the replacement is the most successful F1 driver ever? If the drive was going to say Piquet Jr or someone like that then they could have reason to moan but not about Schumacher being considered a better replacement than them.

    As for his return I can't wait. Should really shake things up a bit particularly as the Ferrari's gradually getting stronger. Always good to see an old master against the young and hungry rivals. Bring on Valencia!

  • Comment number 41.

    "I, for one, would not bet against Schumacher winning a race before the season is out".

    Best I can find for MS to get a win before the end of the season is 7/2,
    same price for him to take a pole position.

    By the way;
    29. At 11:35am on 30 Jul 2009, SportsSportsSportsBS ...... I think we all know what the BS stands for.

  • Comment number 42.

    Your suggestion that Ferrari might drop a fit Massa for 2010 is ridiculous. That was always out of the question. In Domenicali's words, that car is his. Even if the team had no sense of loyalty at all, they would still recognize that he is the more dependable of the two drivers, a hugely popular figure in and out of the paddock, and great for the image of the team, especially in Brazil. It's as plausible as McLaren dropping Hamilton.

    It will be harsh on Ferrari's part to let Raikkonen go, but if they want Alonso it's the only sensible option. Raikkonen has not looked like the contender he was in 2007. He has been repeatedly outscored by Massa over the last two years and looks and sounds bored with F1.

    P.S. Alonso's pass at the 130R was impressive, but remember he had a vastly superior car to Schumacher that year. Was the "mantle" really passed on?

  • Comment number 43.

    Two former F1 champions in the same team for the first time since 1989 Senna - Prost, that's gotta be great! And in Schumacher we have no ordinary champion (I never liked him personally, but can't question his talent). Will be fascinating to see how he matches up with Kimi, who arguably was the reason why Schumi retired inthe first place. Now, of course, he can return and race him without pressure, as even if he loses he can always hide behind the fact that he came back from long break.

    I should think this motivates Kimi even further. Although I firmly believe that those who claim that he has lost interest in F1 are wide of the mark. The fact is that he has been driving a terrible Ferrari for the best part of 2 years as well as being plagued by his usual bad luck. To criticize Raikkonen for having and ice-cream after retiring a race or otherwise not showing emotion, is to be totally blind about who he is and how he has been throughout his career, win or lose. Give him a half competitive car and he'll be in the mix. Kimi is not one to be satisfied being second - he only races to win, which is something he shares with Schumi (too many other drivers are happy to take part or score a point or two). Can't wait to see Kimi and Schumi in the same car.

  • Comment number 44.

    Great to see him back. I know that he has not always been a favourite of British F1 fans but that is because he is a winner and has never accepted second best.

    He won't this time either and whilst he may not win at Valencia, the next two races are Spa and Monza where he has won 6 and 5 times respectively and wouldn't be surprised if he added to these tallies.

  • Comment number 45.


    For Ferrari, it was a no-brainer....not exactly the best phrase under the circumstances!

    Schu up against the revitalised Lewis! It's what many of us thought we would never see. Roll on Valencia!

  • Comment number 46.

    Wow,first of all I am not a Ferarri fan or a Schumacher fan but I do have alot of respecct for the guy. But I do think this is the best news for F1 this year, it is just a pity about the circumstances in which it is happening. Cant wait for Hamilton and Schumi to mix it up on the track! For onc Bernie has done something good for F1

  • Comment number 47.

    What's the point of having reserve drivers if Ferrari are going to bypass them and bring in an old-timer? Marc and Luca need to get out now and move to a team where they may get a drive 'cos there's obviously no future with the red team.

  • Comment number 48.

    As of the Ferrari test drivers Gene and Badoer not getting the drive, perhaps this acts as a lesson for the team(s) that it's better to have at least one talented young test driver who could be promoted to race when needed. Of course there is merit in having an experienced driver to lead development in testing, but a hungry and ambitious young driver would grab a chance to race and you might find a winner amongst your own ranks. That said, Schumacher is such a different proposition to anyone else that his comeback makes sense in all levels (sporting and marketing).

  • Comment number 49.

    Schumacher is the greatest driver in the histroy of F1 and the greatest sportsman of all time in my opinion, this has been the best season of F1 for years, we have BBC coverage (excellent), numerous competative teams, and now with Schumacher coming back we are in for possabley the best close to a season ever.

  • Comment number 50.

    Even my girlfriend is excited about Schuey coming back - and she hated the guy!!

    Was it an insult to Gene and Badoer? Well one point I would make is that Schumacher last raced an F1 car in 2006; Gene last raced an F1 car in 2004 (granted he has done numerous sportscar races since then) and the last time Badoer raced an F1 car in anger, Michael still only had two world titles!! Plus Schumacher was and always will be better than these two.

    More insulting would have been to stick Bourdais in the car...

  • Comment number 51.

    Andrew, would it be possible for a Classic F1 special marking the return of Schumacher? Would help suffering over the summer break even though I follow other forms of motorsport!

  • Comment number 52.

    IF massa is out for the rest of the season it gives schmacher a decent run out. I don't expect him to win a race because it might take him a race of 2 to get into the swing of things and by then 2009 development will have ceased completely and 2010 will be the priority. I would think If he can make a few podiums it will raise enough eyebrows to suggest that they offer him a 2010 driver with raikkonen who for the past season and a half has been content to play second fiddle to Massa.

  • Comment number 53.

    It seems like a lot of people are reading more into this than I think there is.

    From Ferrari's perspective, it would seem that they don't rate Badoer or Gene as highly as Schumacher... I imagine most spectators/fans would agree that 3y in retirement won't necessarily undo all of the ability which brought 7 world championships.

    In regard to Schumacher's motives, I think this is quite possible one of the most altruistic and compassionate thing he may ever have done. It's known that he is Massa's mentor, by filling-in for him clearly he is keeping his Ferrari for him and preventing another young gun the opportunity. If there was another Lewis Hamilton waiting in the wings who filled-in for the rest of the season and trounced Raikkonen, would Ferrari really be so keen to let him go? Schumacher on the other hand, has no drive or desire to keep racing indefinitely, having already retired once.

    In other words, he's protecting Massa's drive and 'keeping his seat warm'.

    In that light, he has nothing to lose even if he is woefully uncompetitive. It might not be a sporting spectacle but he'll have won a degree of respect that his sporting 'achievements' never secured from me.

  • Comment number 54.

    This is great news for F1 and as a Schumacher fan its great news for me too.

    Schumacher is a guy who divides opinion, some love him and some hate him. Thats whats so good about this, you've now got your Hero or Pantomime villain back on the grid to liven things up a bit. I cannot see the down side for F1 Fans.

    People often associate him with the boring era of F1 (2001 onwards), but for me, its easy to overlook how exciting he made F1 in the late 1990's. Again, its irrelevant whether you like him or not, the fact is, he was in the mix and thats what made some of those late 1990's races so exciting through incidents, great driving and controversey.

    I'm sure he'll struggle a bit at Valencia, but if he's still in the seat come Spa or Monza it could be a tad more interesting.

    I don't expect him to blitz the opposition for the rest of the season, i just think its a good thing to see him come out and have a go against the younger guys. Quite brave infact.

    Can't wait

  • Comment number 55.

    God what a decision to make at the European Grand Prix do I stay with my current F1 hero "Lewis Hamilton" or do I revert to being a Michael Schumacher fan

  • Comment number 56.

    I can't wait for Valencia now! Like most people have said i don't think last years race was up to much, but its all changed now!

    I don't think Michael being retired for 3 years will be too much hinderance, he races motorbikes now so is still very fit, and still plays a big role in the paddock with ferrari. If he didn't know that car inside out by now, or hasn't even driven it before i'd be very surprised!

    I reckon Raikkonen will be gone from f1 next year, he's always disliked the intense publicity of f1 and he'll go back to rallying in scandinavia i would imagine.

    Alonso and Massa for next year (provided massa is fit) with Kubica in line to replace him

  • Comment number 57.

    So are Ferrari running scared of a miserable year, of loosing sponsors? It begins to look that way if they resort to bringing back their previous driver rather than giving any one of the several new rising stars a chance.

    Remember what happened when Schumacher himself broke his leg. Mika Salo was brought in (from the BAR team). Did them no harm!

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm not a big fan of Schumacher and I think this is typical: Ferrari are just starting to get to the front of the field, as shown in Hungary, and now Schumacher will take over at the perfect time - all the commentators will forget that ferrari was already much improved and start waxing lyrical about how he is still the best and had put ferrari back up the etc etc, sickening!!

    No lose situation for him, if he doesnt perform it'll be that he's out of practice and older, if he does win we'll never hear the last of it!

  • Comment number 59.

    So the old enemy will be back in the cockpit. A bit like some of the above posts, I was not a fan but enjoyed him being my pantomime villain while he was knocking people off the road.

    My wonder is whether it will be the "same guy" out of the car. Surely he will not be going all out to pull the team and every advantage around him and actively push for Number 1 status or anything. My guess is he will drive like a man possessed while on the track and be thoroughly nice and laid back out of the car and will be grinning like a cheshire cat after each race. Much as I do when me and my mates go karting.

    Lee McKenzie better sharpen her elbows as the interview pen will be like a riot zone of reporters!

  • Comment number 60.

    Strange that Schumacher wasn't willing to do a proper lap in the "star in a reasonably priced car" on Top Gear (presumably because he didn't think he had anything to gain, and everything to lose), and yet is now getting in an F1 car again.
    -------------------------------
    That was probably set up because he's the best driver ever and they were saying he is the Stig, the joke was that he couldn't even drive.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think this was a brilliant bit of work on Ferraris part. Bringing Michael Schumacher back while Massa is recovering is the best thing to happen to F1 this season. For Ferrari it will bring some very positive press their way. Lets face it, Kimi is not exactly the most charismatic guy ever. Ferrari needs someone with some passion, and love him or hate him, Schumacher has always had that in spades. Plus, I really think he has been itching to race again, but his continued affiliation with Ferrari has made this nearly impossible. This way he can come back for a bit, score some points, and slide back into retirement. To those who think this is unfair to the test drivers, I say give me a break. This is a business and those guys bring nothing to the table.

    For F1 this is a huge break. I mean it has already made the exit of BMW from F1 a page two story. If every race he is in does not sell out Ill be surprised. Im just wondering how much my G3 Eau-Rouge tickets are worth now.

    All that said. I really hope Massa is able to return. He really deserves a championship, and I honestly think that is playing a large part in Schumachers decision to return.

  • Comment number 62.

    Oh and I would not sell my tickets for anything. I'll be in the stands cheering the great one on. Go get them Michael!!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    This is bizarrely similar situation to 1993, with such a crop of already top drivers being further enhanced by a returning great - in that case Alain Prost - and it will be interesting to see how they compete.

    The most interesting points for me are definately going to be Vettel and Hamilton - both tipped to be just as good, well they both have a slightly better car than Schumacher will be hopping into, so it will be interesting for sure.

    For Vettel I wonder how wierd this must be - he's going to be racing against his hero, who he has said was a big part of why he got into F1 in the first place. I'm not suggesting he would do anything silly and be all star-struck, but I would love to see them meet in the paddock now they are both in a race situation.

    Personally I think Schumacher's fitness will be no problem - he was the fittest guy in F1 for virtually his whole career, if not all of it - so he will be more than up to speed. Slicks are relatively familiar territory for him and KERS is hardly a quantum leap - the downforce levels will provide the only slowdown to him, in my opinion.

    Having followed his career from the first time he got into a Jordan in '91 I am desperate to see what may - or may yet not - be the last chapter. I guess I'm just annoyed that I bought the biography in '07, stupidly thinking it was all over now....

  • Comment number 64.

    I personally could never have accepted my team-mate handing me the race victory after he had dominated qualifying and the race, that is not true competition, it is an insult to the sport and it's fans.
    ----------------------------------
    He did, he slammed his brakes on when he realised what Barichello was doing and then made him stand on the top step of the podium, but the race organisers told him to stand on the top step and take the winners trophy, which he tried to give to Barichello.

  • Comment number 65.

    Personally, were it not for the horrific injury to Massa, I could almost say this was pre-planned...it would never be planned for a driver to suffer horrific life-threatening injuries though. But this will give F1 a boost, and I'm sure viewing figures will be breaking records throughout the world when the circus turns up at Valencia. I wonder if there's enough time to book holidays for that weekend? I have a feeling I'll be spending it in front of the tellybox!

  • Comment number 66.

    Mmmmmm.....Top Gear series finishes and Schumacher returns to Formula 1........coincidence ??? You Decide !!

  • Comment number 67.

    #6!! Well at least that's not PC/overly-sensitive writing and reading taken to another level! Why is it not appropriate when the journalist is using an accepted cliche to talk about something which is only indirectly related to Massa?! I suggest we grow up ever so slightly perhaps...

  • Comment number 68.

    Considering Alguersuari finished ahead of his more experienced team mate in Hungary, his first ever taste of F1, I'm pretty sure Michael would make light work of bringing his car up to speed. Other than Barichello, only he has more transition experience of F1 cars in the paddock.... just like riding a bike..........Guess the tickets for Spa this year might be sold out now....
    Very muchlike Andrew B's reference to Kubica's comments on the kart race!

  • Comment number 69.

    i dont feel sorry for the test drivers. the whole reason why they are test drivers is because they wernt good enough to get a race seat especially in fearri . badeor hasnt raced f1 for 10 years, marc gene was very average, i highly doubt raikonen would of been worried about them. Schumacher left at the top of his game which is exactly where he will resume it.

  • Comment number 70.

    the_stath,

    Fair point about the Ferrari team being desparate to secure a championship and thus insisting on the pro-Schumacher team orders at the Austrian Grand Prix. My view is that it says something of the man that he accepted a victory in that manner, but as you say - he must have been under a lot of pressure from his team.

    However, your attempt to defend the 97 Villeneuve incident is a scandal, watch it again and see it for what it is - A driver who saw himself losing the championship and resorted to an attempt at ramming a fellow driver off the road.
    Things obviously happen quickly in an F1 car, so we know he was acting on instinct, his instinct was to resort to any means to avoid defeat.

    The end doesn't always justify the means, for the sake of F1's current drivers I hope Schumacher has finally learnt that.

  • Comment number 71.

    He hasnt raced a car in years, he is not fit enough or knows enough about the car. It is pure publicity stunt to aid FOTA's case against F1.

    I've lost all respect for him for being used like a pawn in FOTAs game.

  • Comment number 72.

    Poor Raikkonen,
    The man has lost his mojo for a while, and now he's got Schuey to kick him in the preverbials once and for all.
    I love his driving style - on his day he's the best out there, yet when it really matters...Cometh the Ice Man... Cometh the Ice Creams...
    He won 07 by default, got passed sublimely by Schuey on his last race before retiring, has allowed a brazilian driver inferior of his driving qualities to be the No 1 driver for Ferrari...
    What is it with him? The girls? The parties? The Vodka?
    I love him - He's a law unto himself, fitting always slightly uncomfortably within the corporate stranglehold that is now F1..I hope he doesn't go and gets to partner Alonso..both would wind each other up a treat - it'll make Big Brother redundant...

  • Comment number 73.

    With no hope of either a driver WC or the constructors title this year I fail to see the point of wheeling out Schumacher for what will clearly now be the rest of the season!? The TV guys and sponsors, and many fans will no doubt be relishing the prospect of seeing if the old master still has it against some of the young guns, and to be honest I am one of them! But from a team development point of view, wouldn't this have been a perfect time to give a young driver some valuable experience!? Especially with pre-season testing banned, when do they get a chance? What message does this send to Gene? He might reasonably have expected to finish the season, instead he might look forward to finishing his career early! find a new team son before it's too late ;-)

    Ferrari have made a clear statement here, that they are not interested in developing young drivers!
    Pandering to commercial interests is what it is all about! Young would-be F1 drivers the world over take note!

  • Comment number 74.

    Well done Andrew for stating the obvious, albeit a day late. Many posters including myself said this yesterday, although I do think some of the comments on here are just as silly, like suggesting Ferrari somehow engineered this.
    Anyway, the whole point is, this can do nothing but good for F1, in difficult financial times.

  • Comment number 75.

    No doubt F1 needed him. There's no one in the current circuit that has the ruthlessness and charisma of Schumi. Can't wait for Valencia now. Would love to see Schumacher put Hamilton in his place.

  • Comment number 76.

    Shuey returning is amazing news and has given the F1 brand a new interest and lease of life !! I have not stopped smiling since it was anounced that Michael will be back in a Ferrari race car and I will be cheering him on all the way for the rest of the season !! Massa's accident was apauling but it is funny how things work out !!

  • Comment number 77.

    I was not Schumacher's biggest fan (because he drove for Ferrari and I was supporting the Brits) or Ferrari's for that matter, but I can't wait to see the legend in action.

    It a fantastic chance for the drivers and fans who maybe took him for granted for being awesome and therefore didn't appreciate him, to see him in action again.

    Can't wait for Schumacher and Hamilton (now in what seems an improved McClaren)to battle it out with the rest.

  • Comment number 78.

    As an Englishman who is a fan of Mclaren, stereotype dictates that I should not like Michael Schumacher, and should not be welcoming him back.

    It is a measure of the man that I wholeheartedly look forward to seeing him race again, and welcome his presence back with open arms.

    I really am excited, probably the fact that its only a temporary measure helps that fact, (if he was coming back for a few years, I probably would not be as excited about the prospect) but its going to be really special watching Schumacher race again.

  • Comment number 79.

    Welcome back Mr Schumacher after all the nonsense of the last few months with the FIA and FOTA this is a major bonus for F1, sadly at the expense of Felipe and hopefully we will see him back in his seat early next year.
    I have always been a devout Mclaren fan but the prospect of seeing Schumi in the mix of things again will more than likely offer up some great racing over the rest of the season and certainly give us all a lot to talk about, and once again highlight what this sport is really about for us the fans.

  • Comment number 80.

    Incredible news! This is just amazing for F1, you can;t buy this sort of hype - don't get me wrong, I'm glad Massa is going to be ok, but everything happens for a reason.....

    Now "Hit It" Michael!!

  • Comment number 81.

    In reply to hackerjack

    He actually has raced a car in the past few years and done quite well. RoC in 07-08, and he has done a ton of development for Ferrari on their race and road cars.

    As for being fit enough; are you a doctor? You have no idea how fit he is. You are talking out of your bung hole with that. And how exactly will this aid FOTA against F1? What it will do is make Ferrari and F1 a ton of money over the next few months. Oh, and Im sure that he is not planning on doing it for free. Im confident that the pawn is being well compensated.

  • Comment number 82.

    It is a bit amazing to me how many people do not like Schumi and describe him as arrogant. Maybe he seems so at times (and let's face it-he would have a reason to be), but he sure isn't.
    If you take the time to get to know him, you will see that he is not only very nice and funny, but he also is an incredible Philanthropist. He has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts throughout his life and donated tens of millions of dollars to charity. While an exact figure for the amount of money he has donated throughout his life is unknown, it is known that in his last four years as a driver, he donated at least $50 million.
    And when it comes to the so called controversies... they are very hyped up and don't tell me the other drivers are all about being nice and fair.
    I do believe he is one of the greatest personalities that sports has ever seen, and a real role model.
    Anyway, I am really excited that he made the decision to come back and will watch my first Formula 1 Race since 2007 in August.

  • Comment number 83.

    Wonder if he's found a personality while he's been away !

  • Comment number 84.

    I for one will welcome MS back again, I hope he has great success, but if he does'nt I will still relish the chance to see the greatest racing driver of all time perform a few more times. I'm sure that MS will take it all quite seriously, while having nothing to prove. So Michael just relax and do your best, as you always have done. Good luck to you.

  • Comment number 85.

    Some really good comments.

    I have never been a Schumacher fan, even before he took out Damon Hill to stop him winning the championship, but I have to agree with 53. Mark-R6. This comes across more as him making sure the drive stays open for Massa than anything to do with his own ambitions, and for that he actually gets some respect from me.

    I would be very surprised if he didn't make it onto the podium, and given that the Ferrari's have finally started to find some pace there is a good chance of a win at some point. As for Lewis, I don't see him losing any sleep over the challenge...other than from excitement at the thought of being able to race him.

    As for the Ferrari test drivers, I can't see they can have any real complaints and given that they last raced in F1 longer ago, there would not have been given a thought once Schumaker showed he was willing to give it a go.

    Hopefully, what this does, is have another driver who has the potential to keep the Red Bull's off the top leaving Jenson to cap a superb season and win the Championship.

    Will be an interesting race.

  • Comment number 86.

    I'll never love Schumacher after what happened at Adelaide with Damon, but respect, admire, enjoy, intrigued.....ABSOLUTELY!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    It's great to see so many posters who were/are not Schumacher fans getting so excited about his return. For the rest of us (especially one Mr B Ecclestone) this is like a dream come true and the owners of the newer dismal tracks in Nowhereland must be jumping for joy at the prospect of selling more than a couple of dozen tickets.
    As for this being an altruistic gesture, I read elsewhere that he will be getting £3m per race in addition to the £38m retainer he is paid. Altruism comes at a very high price nowadays!

  • Comment number 88.

    I'm one of those who think that Valencia is a very dull circuit - Personally, I don't think Schumi's presence will change that - it's still a dog of a track with no overtaking whatsoever and none of the character you'd associate with a street circuit...

    As for Schumacher's return - Ferrari made the right choice. They are at the stage this season where they are just coming good - 2 podiums in as many races so their first win of the season can't be far. Schumacher may not have driven an 09 Car, or a KERS Car, or an F1 Car without Traction Control, or an F1 Car with Slicks (well since ages ago) but you have to remember that this is the most succesful driver in F1 History. Yes he may have only one some of those titles because of his car be he is an outstanding driver - He'llve got over those gremlins by the end of his first Installation lap in FP1 on the Friday.

  • Comment number 89.

    57 - theoldgoat - Yes I remember Mika Salo replacing Schumacher. Would have won a GP (Germany 1999), too, had he not been told to let Eddie Irvine overtake him, as Eddie was still in with a chance to win the title. As it was, Salo never won a GP in his F1 career...

  • Comment number 90.

    I am schocked he has come back and i know that I am not alone in saying that this has ruined what was shaping up to be a very interesting second half of the season.

    I am suprised that none has questioned wheter th championships he won with Ferrari are valid given the revelations about their deal with the FIA. I cant see how he can be said to have fairly won a championship when his team had the right to veto any pice of technology on their opponents cars.

    His attempts to ram opponents off the road are well known to all. I only hope that the return of one of the most dangerous drivers in F1 history doesnt result in another injury.

    The man himself may not have anything to lose by making a comeback, but Ferrari's attempts to repaint themselves as a friendlier organisation are virtually worthless now, and I fear F1 will be loosing the most in the long run...

  • Comment number 91.

    According to Massa's Doctor ...

    "Felipe is already thinking about racing again, and would be happy to get back into his Ferrari in the next race in Valencia".

  • Comment number 92.

    Even though it is Schumacher, you still have to feel for Badoer in particular (and Gene too, but to a lesser extent, because he has driven good cars and scored points before). Here's why:

    Badoer has been at Ferrari for 10 years. Before that he had raced poor cars, yet had shown reasonable promise for a driver at that time in his career. He didn't pick up any points during that time, despite a very good effort at a number of races, such as the European GP of 1996 where he was running 4th in his Minardi, ahead of faster cars before a mechanical problem ruined his race just short of the flag.

    So, when he went to Ferrari as a test driver, he probably thought he would be first in line to get a shot. Apparently not. When Schumacher got injured in '99 the seat was given to Mika Salo, someone who had not shown loyalty to the team and was probably not much better than Badoer.

    A decade on and Badoer has waited patiently for another chance while the best years of his career passed by, but now Ferrari have given the seat to Schumacher, a driver who has achieved everything he could possibly achieve in F1, and has no real business being here (and I mean that in the best possible way).

    It just seems harsh especially whn you consider that relatively speaking Badoer would have gained much more from this than Schumacher or Ferrari could have lost. Badoer may have scored his first points ever at the age of 38 - that would probably mean a lot to him. Ferrari aren't competing for either championship this year, unlike in '99, so they have little to lose. And Schumacher as I said has achieved everything he could achieve in F1 so this probably would not mean much to him except as a gesture for his friend Massa - he has said repeatedly over the past two years that he had no desire to return. It just seems like this decision has been taken because Schumacher is the big name and would draw publicity. From a sentimental point of view, I'd have given Badoer a shot.

  • Comment number 93.

    Great article Andrew. As Eddie Jordan said in his BBC interview, anyone who underestimates Michael is making a mistake. Relative to Raikkonen he will be competitive, even though he has said that his job is to support Raikkonen as the points leader and permanent driver.

    I wonder, however, if this will change Ferrari's stated intend to stop development on this year's car and focus on 2010. Maybe it won't change that focus, but what a waste to not give Michael a chance to win. Great for Ferrari, great for Shell.

    No doubt we will see probably more than 50% of the fans at the rest of the races with Ferrari and Michael banners.

  • Comment number 94.

    Post number 83 Sousesaint2. Hard to tell, but not if he is looking where you typically would look. What a silly comment.

  • Comment number 95.

    Perhaps the Scuderia have discovered a huge warehouse of Schumacher merchandise and figured that would fill the financial hole punched out by the impending budget cuts.. I can imagine Hamilton queued up clutching a Schumi shirt ready for signing.....

  • Comment number 96.

    Post 91 with a fractured skull Massa is going nowhere near a race track this year.

    The medics simply wouldn't pass him. We are only 3 1/2 months from the last GP of the season. It simply isn't feasible.

  • Comment number 97.

    I have never been a fan of schumacher myself, as with most other englishmen old enough to remember the 94 championship, he has no sportsmanship ethics at all. That being said im happy he will be back until the end of the year, everyone likes to see the pantomime villain i guess.
    I dont for a second feel sorry for badoer or gene, they both had there chances and didnt make the grade. If i was guessing too i would think schumacher is in better physical shape than those two guys. The only other option i could see was alonso being bought out from his renault contract early, which im sure flav would make them pay alot for.

  • Comment number 98.

    all we need now is Mika Haikonnen back at Mclaren haha... Schumacher was someone i really disliked back in theday, but as soon as he retired you couldnt help but miss his unique talent

  • Comment number 99.

    Michael hasnt driven this car, with all the new aero specs so itll take some time for him to adjust (doesnt know the circuit also) but if Im Domenicali, Id take this opportunity to get as much feedback from Michael as possible. I just dont think that neither Felipe nor Kimi have the combination of experience, talent and knowledge on how to improve a car that Michael has so, whether the focus is on this years car or the next, this could be a golden opportunity to improve it.

    Regarding possible Ferrari lineup for 2010, I just dont feel Kimi as hungry as it used to be. Maybe this will get him going again and if that is the case, all I know is that if they have (or had) the chance to sign Alonso, its something you just have to do.

    Regards from Mexico!

  • Comment number 100.

    I am very excited. Whilst Schumi was not my favourite. I've always rooted for the English teams. You cannot doubt the mans talent behind the wheel. He's only 40 and as fit as men half his age. I think he'll finish in the points with ease.

    Just a note to GoodDayBruce. "The only dampener is that Alonso wont be there, thanks to more hogwash from the FIA. I can't believe we have to wait a whole month!"

    They banned him because his team allowed him to do one lap of the track with a loose wheel. 1 week after Henry Surtees had been killed by an errant wheel and 1 day after Massa had almost been killed by an errant 1kg spring. Hogwash? Are you kidding me?!?!

 

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