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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

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


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

    C’est la vie.

  9. Damn :(

  10. 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*

  11. Pedro Andrade said on 11th August 2009, 10:50

    As an anti-Schumacher who has grown to admire his ability, I can only be a bit gutted at this news… However, to me, Luca Badoer is the best choice Ferrari could make. Much has been made of Schumacher’s loyalty to Ferrari, but Badoer has been in the team for a very long time as well.

    Also, remember that Ferrari chose Salo over him when Schumacher crashed in 1999, and in that same year, in the European Grand Prix, who was not sad seeing Luca cry after his Minardi blew it with just a few laps to go while in 4th place? He finally has a chance of breaking his duck (he’s the driver with the most races without a single point to his name).

    Luca Badoer at the 1999 European GP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDTMQR4z2QE


    • no, no, he’ll take the mask off after the race (of course wearing an alternative helmet for the weekend)

  13. Lenny said on 11th August 2009, 11:14

    This is the biggest anticlimax I have ever experienced in my whole life! Gutted!
    Hopefully Kimi gets swine flu next year!(only joking)

  14. Devastated. Love him or hate him you can’t deny it would have been one hell of a show.

  15. LewisC said on 11th August 2009, 11:22

    Great shame – I was looking forward to seeing how Schumacher did in the new harder-to-drive F1 cars.

    And also how far he could put Kimi’s nose out of joint. :D

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