Michael Schumacher cancels F1 return

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?

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172 comments on Michael Schumacher cancels F1 return

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  1. :(

  2. Rob R. said on 11th August 2009, 8:55

    Dammit!

  3. Journeyer said on 11th August 2009, 8:56

    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…

  4. 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…

  5. michael said on 11th August 2009, 8:57

    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.

  6. Noel said on 11th August 2009, 8:57

    Shame. I was looking forward to that.

    The cynic in me call massive publicity stunt, though.

  7. sean said on 11th August 2009, 8:58

    bugga

  8. Simon said on 11th August 2009, 9:01

    @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 :(

    • Eamon said on 12th August 2009, 3:09

      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.

  9. TommyB said on 11th August 2009, 9:01

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

  10. Djbob said on 11th August 2009, 9:08

    Gutted!

  11. S Hughes said on 11th August 2009, 9:13

    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.

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

  13. Hakka said on 11th August 2009, 9:16

    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.

  14. DASMAN said on 11th August 2009, 9:16

    Aaarg!!

  15. Adrian said on 11th August 2009, 9:16

    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.

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