Official: Michael Schumacher to return for Ferrari in the European Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher will drive Felipe Massa's Ferrari in Valencia

Michael Schumacher will drive Felipe Massa's Ferrari in Valencia

We had only just begun talking about who might replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari and now it has been confirmed:

Michael Schumacher will return to Formula 1 in the European Grand Prix driving alongside Kimi Raikkonen.

Schumacher said on his official website:

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

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

Schumacher will be racing the F60 – a car he has never driven – at the Circuito Urbano Valencia – a track he hasn’t raced on before.

Last year’s European Grand Prix was derided as a boring procession. I fancy we might have something rather more interesting to talk about in three-and-a-half weeks’ time.

Saddened though we all have been by Massa’s crash – and relieved at his continued recuperation – it will be a thrill to see Schumacher up against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

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317 comments on Official: Michael Schumacher to return for Ferrari in the European Grand Prix

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  1. gabal said on 29th July 2009, 20:44

    IMHO, he doesn’t need this – he has everything to lose (remember Mansell) and not much to gain. He hasn’t even tested this years Ferrari and he won’t get a chance to get in it before FP1 on Friday.

    Ferrari would have done better if they tested a potential future driver (someone from GP2 for example). This sounds like a publicity stunt to me…

  2. Steve_P said on 29th July 2009, 20:47

    Valencia is going to ge great.

    I’m suprised to be reading some criticism in the comments about this. We all know the F60 isn’t an amazing car. Schumacher hasn’t driven in awhile and he probably won’t do that great. Does it really matter that much though? He is a legend in the sport and he is Ferrari. I think it’s really cool that he is coming back to help the team that he feels so much loyalty too. I don’t care if he finishes 20th, just take it for what it is. We all are going to have the oppurtunity to see Schumacher behind the wheel of an F1 car again in a few short weeks.

  3. Chris said on 29th July 2009, 20:48

    One word:

    AWESOME

  4. Brian said on 29th July 2009, 20:49

    I…don’t….know…what…to….think. I…am…shocked…right….now…and…can…hardly….speak.
    This season is…..different.
    I hope that Schumi will keep Button at bay so that Vettel can win the Championship. I know they aren’t on the same team but it would be nice to see him help out the guy that worships him.
    Oh and I hope he kicks Hammy’s butt.

    • skuzz said on 29th July 2009, 20:53

      i cant see him kicking anyone butt! he and hamilton will have good battles but hamilton is a pro in these cars and MS has done Zero testing!

      • Brian said on 29th July 2009, 20:59

        spoil sport.

        • Ronman said on 30th July 2009, 7:37

          You have to remember Schumi can drive the wheels off anything that has wheels, bikes, taxis etc… so the F60 if anything will get back to winning contention is a matter of a fortnight just because of his input.

          and I doubt Ferrari hasn’t or wont given him a go sometime ago in a deserted circuit with the car painted indigo blue…

          • Thommo said on 31st July 2009, 18:21

            Michael unlike Kimi has always contributed a lot to the development of the car. I don’t expect Valencia to prove that, but the next races will be interesting

  5. Filip said on 29th July 2009, 20:50

    I’m guessing tickets for all the remaning races are probably already sold out…!

  6. Andrew White said on 29th July 2009, 20:51

    I was originally planning to go to Valencia, but it fell through and I went to the British GP instead. As good as that was, I’m now gutted :(

  7. Alex P said on 29th July 2009, 20:56

    Ferrari are concertrating on next years car who would you want in the car to give you feedback. no in season testing and they will have the ultimate test driver in race conditions Forza Ferrari :)

    • Hallard said on 29th July 2009, 22:44

      I think you nailed it right there. I cant imagine him winning races but he’ll do a hell of a job helping develop next year’s car from the driver’s seat.

    • Omegaz3ro said on 30th July 2009, 2:01

      I don’t understand such “next year’s car”.

      There’s no rule change such as 2008-09.

      Next year car will be the natural evolution of this year car.

      Not chassis-wise, I reckon, but really I don’t get this “Nah, we gave up to focus on the next season’s car”.

      That’s just an excuse.

      Look at McLaren. An old banger developed at the point to be able to win races..

  8. Accidentalmick said on 29th July 2009, 21:04

    There are some considered and well made objections to Schuey coming back….
    BUT
    Shoemaker versus Hamilton!
    They both set their cars up like go-karts-
    They both drive as if they are in go-karts-
    They both have KERS.

    Bring it on.

    • DomPrez said on 29th July 2009, 21:25

      MS and Hami has oddly similar out-breaking moves. they both point the car into the apex and give zero room for the foe. add kers (as you mentioned) and either they are going to kill eachother in turn 1, or we’re in for good battles. either way, headlines will roar on from now ’till the he leave the cockpit “for good” again…

  9. pankit said on 29th July 2009, 21:06

    This is freekin brilliant … schumi side by side wth Kimi … i want to see him race HAMILTON n all these other drivers and show them how a race car is really done !!!

  10. mani said on 29th July 2009, 21:06

    oh my… what else we want? Hamilton, Alonso (I wish he could make it for his home race), Vettel, Kimi on track together with Schumi? He is great, it’ll be a hell of a view that weekend… Schumi may not outperform them, he has little chance to do so, for all the reasons. But, he is not someone who come in and race quietly (though half prepared, he’ll do better than what others do with the same preparation) and we all know that. And, with that least possibility if he still has what it took him to be such a champion (including the desire to win at any cost), then I think we’re up for a good show there, let’s hope Ferrari gives him a car that can fight the front runners and let’s see how much he can test these youngsters :)

  11. SoLiD said on 29th July 2009, 21:16

    Strange some people have so much doubt… I’m guessing they haven’t watched much f1 in the old days when Schumi was dominating.
    I’m no Schumi fan, not at all, but he has been at the top for 15years and only retired 2years and a bit… and kept his fitness (wich was great).
    He’ll be up there for sure!

    Spa is going to be a sell out this year :)
    Schumi and baby schumi will attract many germans I think :)

  12. Valencia being what it is, I don’t see Schumy doing any real “racing” per se. I see this as a testing opportunity to get reacquainted with the car and get ready for one of his favorite tracks, Spa. And the rest of the schedule as well.

    Then we’ll see if the Old Man still has something for the kids!

    If Schumy does well, I don’t think Felipe will get back in the car for the rest of the year. Concussions are notoriously complex to recover from and can affect eye sight and equilibrium.

  13. DMW said on 29th July 2009, 21:46

    I too hold some spite for the man for making the middle era of my F1 fandom a review of boring processional races, with many championship battles truly over by after 7-8 races. The only interesting Schumacher seasons were when he broke his leg and when Alonso beat him.

    He will be rusty. He’s not superhuman—you need to learn the car and hone your reflexes. I am looking forward to seeing him spin and slide his way around that track. He is going to get dusted by Hamilton and Vettel. I kind of fee bad for him that he returns on a street circuit because I think it’s quite dangerous for a man who has been riding motorcycles for a few years to make his redebut between concrete barriers.

    • Tom said on 29th July 2009, 22:33

      yeh, remember he probably hasn’t raced without traction control. tested but not raced. will be interesting to see.

      • Thommo said on 31st July 2009, 18:30

        Michael has raced without traction control.

        Traction control was banned in 1994 and was reintroduced only in 2001 and then banned in 2008.

  14. Damon said on 29th July 2009, 21:48

    Man!!!
    What will our prediction game look like for the next race??????????

    Damon
    Schumacher
    Schumacher
    Webber
    Hamilton

    But it’s so disappointing Alonso won’t be there to race him in Valencia :((

  15. Juhhi said on 29th July 2009, 21:56

    I think Ferrari has called to Mr. Ecclestone and make an offer: Bernie, how much we get from TV income if we get Michael in the car?

    But anyway, Schumi is a race driver and he´ll always tryis to give his best shot. On Valencia he will not perform good because of:

    1. His neck is not in perfect condition
    2. He hasn´t never drive on that circuit
    3. He Hasn´t drive F60 ever
    4. He is not familiar with and how the KERS behaves
    5. And overall he hasn´t raced with other cars for a long time!!!

    …these are very heavy things I think. Same time we all know his knowledge, skills and how talented he is, so he is still threat, especially for Kimi. If Kimi lose to Schumi, it´s not a positive thing for him at all.

    Anyway, I´ll be very, I mean very surprised if Schumi can beat any of drivers like Vettel, Hamilton, Kimi, Webber, Button…If he really make it good, I think he match(fight) with Barrichello, Kovalainen but doubt even that.

    Spa is different thing. There I think we can see much better Schumacher. It´s one of his favourite circuits and he is more familiar with the car and how it handles and works overall. I would say Spa will be most interesting race for me in this year. Spa is allso Kimi´s favourite circuit, so we may really see those two guys fighting even from win. Eaurouge will be interesting with KERS and how it gives boost for uphill, but if suffering lack of downfors like Ferrari, it wont be easy at all….so we´ll see.

    Really can´t wait this month to Valencia…aaaaaargh!!

    • Damon said on 29th July 2009, 22:06

      You’re absolutely right. Everything works against Schumacher.
      But just imagine a wet race in Spa… hmm.

      • David said on 29th July 2009, 22:19

        I’d forgotten about Barrichello! Rubens’s very last dregs of hope of a F1 championship snuffed out when he fails to get past… Schumacher! That’s just unbelievably sad.

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