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?

More on Michael Schumacher

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172 comments on Michael Schumacher cancels F1 return

  1. GeeMac said on 11th August 2009, 9:27

    I have to say i was thinking what Noel was thinking… Ferrari have been getting some great (and free) publicity out of all this.

    Hopefully Marc Gene gets a chance to prove his worth, it’s only fair.

  2. Kovy said on 11th August 2009, 9:27

    And there I was, looking forward to Valencia.

  3. Hammad said on 11th August 2009, 9:33

    This is gonna ruin my week… ergh

  4. Oliver said on 11th August 2009, 9:37

    Back when it was announced he had an accident while racing on a bike, there were rumours that it was actually much more serious than the Schumacher camp lets on.

  5. Aardvark said on 11th August 2009, 9:48

    That was good while it lasted – at least it made the summer break go a bit quicker.
    Does Badoer get a super licence? The last time he raced, Schumacher hadn’t won a title for Ferrari…how many races has he done since?

  6. Ferrarifan said on 11th August 2009, 9:52

    I hear that Jos Verstappen has been seen at the Ferrari factory (for a seat fitting?) Verstappen beat Schumacher a lot of times on the kart track. That’s why Schumi mentioned him.
    Don’t know if Iam entirely happy with this, but it should be better then Luca…

  7. John H said on 11th August 2009, 9:52


    But this episode proves he retired too early, he obviously still has the hunger.

    Should have stuck to 4 wheels.

    • nelson db said on 11th August 2009, 11:31

      bad news, even if i wasn’t a Shuey fan i was dreaming of this gp as most of you guys.. Let’s hope after Badoer Ferrari try some another driver, it’s a right prime for Badoer’s fidelity but without “the big coming back” F1 now need something more in term of show… what about Niki? :)

  8. Jonathan said on 11th August 2009, 9:53

    *Slaps forehead* Luca Badoer! Good grief.

    The announcement mentions that Schumacher had fractures in the neck and head area, which is more serious than I realized. He must feel like a right dolt.

    Montezemolo: “Please Michael, we’re desperate, Massa’s got a skull fracture…”
    Schumacher: “Err, sorry guys, I’ve kind of, erm, got a neck fracture.”
    M: “What?! How?! All you do is watch and advertise Bacardi! Were you hit by a flying cheque?!”
    S: “Well… I sort of thought, if driving on four wheels is so easy, how hard it can be on only two? That’s half the number of wheels to think about right? So twice as easy! Except it turned out to be a bit harder than I thought…”
    M: “Right, I see. So basically, you’re a chump.”

  9. HounslowBusGarage said on 11th August 2009, 9:53

    I’m rather cynical about this.
    I think it’s made Ferrari look pretty stupid. First they did not have the confidence in either of their nominated reserve drivers, then it seems they did not do adequate medical testing on Michael before announcing that he had the drive.
    Whoever drives the Ferrari now will need a massive confidence boost if he is to compete adequately. After all, they will be third choice driver now, won’t they?

    • mp4-19b said on 11th August 2009, 10:05

      poor gene & luca, they haven’t raced for years. can ferrari borrow rubens for a few races?? i’m sure ross brawn will not mind to loan him for a few races :)

  10. mp4-19b said on 11th August 2009, 9:54

    A bitter-sweet news for me :( :)

  11. mp4-19b said on 11th August 2009, 9:59

    But in hindsight it might prove to be a correct decision. he had everything to lose. Anyone maybe with the exception of senna would have taken the same decision as schumi.

  12. mp4-19b said on 11th August 2009, 10:02

    coulthard is the man for the job imo

    • could you not wait 5min and put you collage of thoughts into a more succintic post?

      • Oh come on, lay off. I’m all for open debate, but now you’re just sniping. One of the best things about this site, other than the fantastic reporting, is the mature nature of the majority of commenting. Maybe take a few deep breaths before you start trolling around here.

      • Adrian said on 11th August 2009, 12:24

        hear hear

      • ajokay said on 11th August 2009, 14:10

        I’m going to hear hear, but with HG on this one.

  13. Jonathan said on 11th August 2009, 10:06

    Interesting that Montezemolo picked Badoer “after he has put in so many years of hard work as a test driver”. He was picked over Gene as a reward for long service.

    This suggests that Ferrari have so little faith in Gene and Badoer that they didn’t even bother selecting between them on racing ability.

    • Adrian said on 11th August 2009, 10:08

      But can you imagine if they beat Kimi…

      • mp4-19b said on 11th August 2009, 10:12

        I sincerely hope badoer beats that slaker kimi.

        • Ronman said on 11th August 2009, 10:37

          well Badoer hasnt lost much of his racing ability, remember guys, he races other categories when not testing for Ferrari. DId anyone see him on the LeMans Podium by any chance, he was on the top step, in a Diesel (i know i know diesels are not what they used to be)

          • Kherubim said on 11th August 2009, 10:49

            That was Marc Gene in the Peugeot 908… not Badoer (who has had the most GPs without a single point)

          • Ronman said on 11th August 2009, 20:02

            Sorry on that one, made a mistake, it was Gene, i mixed them up…gonna go stand in the corner reciting Marc Gene is the Ferrari test driver that Won LeMans in 2009.

    • Tom L said on 11th August 2009, 14:10

      Well, if their decision was going to be based on racing ability, there’d be no point having them both as reserve drivers would there? Cause there’d always be one who would be favoured over the other, making the other redundant…

    • Has Badoer tested the F60 at any stage during the year??

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th August 2009, 20:59

        He didn’t do any circuit work pre-season. He may have done some straight-line tests in the car. His last circuit test was at Portimao in December in the 2008 car.

  14. Ronman said on 11th August 2009, 10:09

    oh Crap, history has to be rewritten, again,,,, strange how they didn’t make a big deal out of his injuries having been as severe as they are….

    despite the euphoria that surrounded Micheal’s comeback, I bet Luca is livid, and hopefully he will put a good show on.

    But hey, remember, for a three week lull, F1 hasn’t been as exciting as it was for a while now.

    • Random Chimp said on 11th August 2009, 11:48

      Just out of interest, are there any pictures or videos of Schumacher at Mugello without the helmet, or that definitively confirm that it IS him driving the car?

  15. diogosilva20 said on 11th August 2009, 10:24

    is this **almost** the longest gap between consecutive races? (badoer last raced in 1999?)

    the longest I can recall is jan lammers who appeared in 1979 or 1980 in an ATS and reemerged in a march in 1992.

  16. Jonathan said on 11th August 2009, 10:27

    Interesting fact:

    Statistically, Ferrari have replaced the best driver in F1 history (1,369 points in 250 grands prix) with the worst driver in F1 history (0 points in 56 grands prix).

  17. Chazzers said on 11th August 2009, 10:41


  18. Prisoner Monkeys said on 11th August 2009, 10:41

    C’est la vie.

  19. Damn :(

  20. Armando666 said on 11th August 2009, 10:47


    absolutely gutted. what a s&%^ start to my day. When i found out he was going to drive…pure elation…now pure devastation. *cry*

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