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

  1. Striay said on 30th July 2009, 8:45

    OMG OMG I’m going to Valencia!!!! I’m soooo lucky, any advice 1st GP guys!!!

  2. _Ben_ said on 30th July 2009, 8:48

    Does anybody know what the largest gap we have ever seen between the youngest and oldest driver on the grid is alguersuari – Schumacher. 19 and 40

    Alguersuari was born in 1990 and Schumacher made his F1 debut in ’91!

    How old was Lauda when he returned?

    • Damon said on 30th July 2009, 9:46

      Don’t wet your pants over that, mate.
      Louis Chiron was 55 years and 292 days old when he raced in the Monaco Grand Prix in 1955.

      So the gap to the youngest guy in the field must have been around 30 years.

  3. PJA said on 30th July 2009, 8:56

    While I was surprised Schumacher decided to come back, out of the big names suggested to fill in for Massa I thought he was a more likely option than Alonso, Kubica or Villeneuve.

    Because he hasn’t driven the F60 or raced at the Valencia circuit I don’t think he will be back to his best at the next Grand Prix, however Alguersuari didn’t perform too badly at Hungary having never turned a corner in an F1 car before so if Ferrari can continue to show the pace they have recently I think he should get some points.

    If he fills in for Massa for the rest of the season I think he could probably win another Grand Prix.

    There is an opinion, which I share, that Raikkonen hasn’t been at his best since he won his Championship so I wonder if this will cause him to up his game at all?

  4. I think that this grand prix might be the most relaxed and enjoyable one of MS’s carreer. He has nothing to win, nothing to lose, is not fighting for the championship, is not expected to beat his rivals or his teammate.. In this case, the absense of pressure may paradoxically what leads him to do a great drive. I cannot believe that he would go out there and make a fool of himself, but at the same time, I’m sure he’s not planning to hobble around leisurely grabbing blue flags.

    I’m just saying: we may be able to see some free spirited driving from the ex-champ.

    I just hope he doesn’t get a spring in his face or whatever. It would be way too Hollywood to bring the legend out of retirement for one last race (or more) only to see him killed or badly hurt.. Try explaning that one to him family..

  5. mp4-19b said on 30th July 2009, 8:57

    if shoemaker was half the man mika hakkinen is, he wouldn’t accept that vacant seat. mclaren found themselves in a similar position in 2006 when jpm left for nascar. Mika as i understand was offered a drive, but mika being the gentleman champion he is(unlike shoemaker) rejected it & himself suggest De La Rosa as the ideal replacement. That is what i expect of MS, but see what he’s done? he must bluntly accept the fact that his cheating era is over, the real formula one fan is fed up of seeing his big jaw in the paddock. this is not good for the sport. to all you shoemaker fans, wake up from your fantasy dream. his time is long gone. but if he wants to entertain the world by making a fool of himself, SO BE IT!!!!!

  6. Paul Sainsbury said on 30th July 2009, 9:02


    Dude…….you really have some issues. While I am by no means a MS fan, I appreciate the fact that he is an all-time great and feel only excitement that we will get to see him with the current crop of F1 drivers. I think one can only admire his guts to come back like this and ‘have a go.’

    • mani said on 30th July 2009, 9:15


      Think this as a recovery for the sport after all the mess up we’ve seen this year. I can see, how much you hate schumi, but don’t be single minded. JPB left McLaren once for all, McLaren were looking for a complete replacement for him, and that’ll never work out for anybody who think their time was over. But this is different, it is a temporary replacement, and the driver should give up his position if in case Massa is set for his return. I think, it is a wise idea to choose schumi, which will be easy for both Ferrari and Schumi when Massa recovers and at the same time (agree or not) with his fan base they can temorarily make us all forget all the wrong things happening with F1.

      • Maksutov said on 30th July 2009, 11:57

        I totally agree mani.

        And again reiterate the fact that for Schumacher to come back to such a difficult challenge and insane odds of him being out of the car and not testing for long time tells you simply that he is not a fake, and the guy has guts and some real “Cojones”.

        And to mp4-19b, Schumacher has nothing to prove by coming back again, he doesn’t need anymore fame, believe me. He is doing it as a personal challenge, the man is obviously driven by competition like a true competitor.

  7. Are Schumscher/Ferrai going to get 8 free engines???What does the engine rule day?

  8. Are Schumscher/Ferrai going to get 8 free engines???What does the engine rule say?

    • Damon said on 30th July 2009, 9:48

      As I can remember, his status in the field is as a Massa-substitute, therefore he has to work with everything Massa left him. Thus, he will have only as many engines left as Massa would have had.

      • Ok, thanks! I hope so, that makes sense.

        And I hope Lewis won’t be over excited.

        • Maksutov said on 30th July 2009, 12:02

          I think Lewis will be happy , if he is the man we all think him to be – which is an exceptional and respectful driver. But still needs to do some growing up in the area of respect. I think this could be lots of fun, which after all is what F1 is supposed to be. I only wish some of the Schu critics could see that too.

  9. Malik said on 30th July 2009, 9:55

    It will be interesting to see if he still has what is required in top flight that too at the age of 40.
    Seeing him go one to one against the likes of kimi Raikonen and Lewis Hamilton should be an interesting prospect. Kimi will have same machinery and Hamilton haven’t raced against him before.

    Also point to be noted, as of now Hamilton has a better car. So seeing schumi defending against Hamilton…..very nice

    • Maksutov said on 30th July 2009, 12:05

      Schumacher will be disadvantaged in every sense until he gets the hang of the car and at least couple of races. I expect Kimi to be in front… but again there is that element of “consistency” which Schumacher has very much, similar to Alonso and Hamilton.

  10. SamS said on 30th July 2009, 10:34

    The question that has to be on everyones lips is, if Rob Smedley is going to be Shumi’s race engineer will he call him Baby???

  11. Its Hammer time said on 30th July 2009, 11:54

    I am fit to bursting with excitement. Question to every one. He cannot drive the F60 until spain because of the testing ban but presumably Ferrari could hire out Mugello and have Michael lapping an F2008 constantly for ‘exhibition/ demonstration’ over the next few weeks. Would this be allowed in the rules?
    How is testing defined?

  12. DASMAN said on 30th July 2009, 12:03

    The realistic goals for Schumi and Ferrari will be to bring home the car in the points regularly until the end of season and get as high up in the constructors table as possible. Anything more for Schumacher is a bonus.

    All the comments about him being a cheat are just lame. We haven’t seen in many years a racer who was as dedicated to his craft as he was. IMO he was a hard racer, something we all cry out for more of. Yes, he stepped over the line on a few occasions, but he took his punishment like a man – and usually responding with an impressive drive.

    So to all the Schumi haters – you have a right to your own opinions, but at least show some respect.

  13. Alex Bkk said on 30th July 2009, 12:46

    Wow! This is fantastic news! Its gonna be a huge boost to F1 TV ratings! Give Mika a ride too!

  14. Bigbadderboom said on 30th July 2009, 15:35

    Fantastic, in the eyes of the F1 faithful he stands to lose nothing, his status is legendary and written in stone in the racing archives. I hope he shows just some of the old magic.

    • Thommo said on 31st July 2009, 18:45

      I watch F1 to see some great wheel to wheel racing of which there was plenty in Michael’s time. I hope we get to see some of that old magic come Valencia.
      As for Hamilton vs Michael, don’t forget that Massa won more races than Hamilton did last year. Also Massa’s engine blew up while he was leading by a country mile in Hungary with just 3 laps to go. Again there was the screw up in refuelling in Singapore when he came while leading the race.
      Remember that Massa just could not best Michael in fastest laps or pole positions and of course wins

  15. Dave said on 30th July 2009, 15:54

    Wow. Lots of harsh comments. While I never watched f1 during the schumi days and never really got into it until I moved to japan, I’m looking forward to seeing how he competes. Would we usually say anything less if it were Michael Jordan, tiger woods or zidane, no matter how controversial they all are. They are all ruthless competitors and that hunger brought them to the places that they are.

    For me, this will add a little sugar and spice to a season that has been lacking in excitement.

    Godspeed Felipe and hope you return soon. In the meantime, we get the opportunity to watch another interesting twist in the world of sports that rarely happens in ones lifetime.
    Love him or hate him, I consider myself lucky to have the chance to watch this spectacle.

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