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

  1. Stoo said on 11th August 2009, 9:17

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

  2. Cridland [Cridcomment @ gmail] said on 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!

  3. 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.

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

  5. Brendan said on 11th August 2009, 9:24

    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.

    • Rahzam said on 11th August 2009, 12:28

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

      • Tom L said on 11th August 2009, 14:04

        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!

  6. 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.

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

    And there I was, looking forward to Valencia.

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

    This is gonna ruin my week… ergh

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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…

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

    Sad,

    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? :)

  13. 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.”

  14. 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 :)

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

    A bitter-sweet news for me :( :)

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