Michael Schumacher cancels F1 return

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher at the wheel of a Ferrari F2007 in Mugello
Michael Schumacher at the wheel of a Ferrari F2007 in Mugello

Michael Schumacher has announced he will not be returning to race at the European Grand Prix at Valencia.

A statement on his website says:

Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I’m not able to step in for Felipe. I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn’t work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.

The consequences of the injuries caused by the bike-accident in February, fractures in the area of head and neck, unfortunately have turned out to be still too severe. That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by Formula 1 yet. This are the clear results of the examinations we did on the course of the past two weeks and the final examination yesterday afternoon. As there were no improvements after the day in Mugello, I decided at short notice on Sunday to do that thorough examination already yesterday.

I am disappointed to the core. I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans which crossed fingers for me. I can only repeat that I tried everything that was within my power. All I can do now is to keep my fingers crossed for the whole team for the coming races.

Ferrari has not yet announced who will take his place. Reserve driver Marc Gene is likely to be the favourite.

Schumacher had been expected to conduct more tests in an F2007 to further assess his fitness, having been denied an opportunity to test a 2009 F60.

Update: Luca Badoer wil take Massa’s place at Valencia

Read more: Who will take Massa’s place at Valencia?

More on Michael Schumacher

172 comments on “Michael Schumacher cancels F1 return”

  1. Sad, but if Schumi won’t be on the pace, it’s better this way. He left on a high note in Brazil, why tarnish that?

    That said, I wonder if anyone who panic-bought tickets for Valencia, Spa, Monza, and Singapore will be asking for refunds…

  2. Bring on alonso (if contracts allow [which they probably won’t]). i remain hopeful…
    bit of a shame really, i was looking forward to that as were many others. now we can all return to earth. let’s get back to business. can’t believe it’s still 2 weeks to go. i feel deprived…

  3. well, that’s the most exciting race in a long time becoming the most boring. Meh.

    I say give it to Bourdais :) That’d be amusing.

  4. Shame. I was looking forward to that.

    The cynic in me call massive publicity stunt, though.

    1. Funny, I was just thinking the same thing. :P

  5. @noel – lol

    I think it was a big mistake on his part anyway. He was never going to do well – why tarnish your great reputation with a few races :(

    1. Michael was half a second faster than Massa when he tested the car at the end of ’07 after more than a year out of the cockpit…

      I don’t doubt his pace would’ve been thoroughly competitive. Perhaps he’d have had a bit of a struggle with fitness over a race distance though.

  6. Well they sold a few more tickets for Valencia. Now to sign Alonso to sell the rest of them :P

  7. I knew it. When it was first announced, I was going to say I bet he doesn’t make it because of his injury. What a lot of fuss about nothing.

  8. I’m certainly no Schumacher fan, but I have to admit I’m disappointed. :(

    1. Here here.

      1. It’s: “hear hear” :D

        But it’s the thought that counts. And I couldn’t agree more.

        1. Duely noted!

          I was much looking forward to his return. Keeps the suspense going on for longer though as to who will be Massa’s replacement.

          1. read on f1-live that luca badoer has been confirmed

    2. I agree, I’m also not really a Schuey fan but I too would like to have seen him return. nevermind!!

      I think Ferrari should do a “Have I Got News For You” and have a guest driver for each remaining race!!! :)

      1. Seconded!

        Boris Johnson for Suzuka!

        1. Clarkson for Spa :D

          1. The “star in our ridiculously priced car”?

  9. Ending up with 3rd in the WCC will be a little more difficult now. Hope they get Anthony Davidson instead of either of the Ferrari test drivers.

  10. I say good on him for not risking his health more than he has to. It’s one thing if he’d have not been carrying an injury, but given he has got an injury and that it’s to his neck I fully support him playing it safe.

  11. Rather pleased to be honest… Ferrari can now use a “proper” stand in driver and let the focus be on the leaders.

  12. Cridland [Cridcomment @ gmail]
    11th August 2009, 9:18

    Let’s hope this means that the FIA is more likely to allow Renault to race next week… Fans might burn down the Valencia harbor if they don’t!

    1. who cares tickets have already been sold

  13. This is a real bummer. I was really looking forward to seeing him compete with Vettel and Hamilton in their prime. It wouldn’t have changed anything about his legacy. It would more or less be a fun outing for himself and fans.

  14. Oh well it’s a shame but if he is not fully fit it is best he does not race.

  15. From Jon Noble’s twitter:

    Luca Badoer will race for Ferrari at the European GP

    Really too bad, I was hugely looking forward to MSC back in an F1 car. At least now we can all bet on whether Badoer will beat Kimi or write off the car.

    1. Beat Kimi? I don’t think so. It will be sufficient if he finishes in points

      1. It seems right that after so many years of testing, Badoer should finally get the chance to score his first ever world championship point(s). Obviously people are disappointed about Schumacher but I’m quite looking forward to seeing what Badoer can do in a good car!

        1. Same here :)

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