Schumi comeback confirmed
Legendary driver returns to F1 to step in for injured Massa
Last Updated: 29/07/09 7:58pm
Schumacher: F1 return
Ferrari have confirmed seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher will make a sensational return to Formula One to stand in for Felipe Massa.
German legend Schumacher still works for Ferrari as an advisor and, after Massa suffered serious injuries in a crash at the Hungarian grand prix, he will now get back behind the wheel once again.
Although the idea was originally rubbished, Ferrari have confirmed that Schumacher will come out of retirement to replace Massa - provided he passes a fitness test.
"Ferrari intends to entrust Michael Schumacher with Felipe Massa's car for as long as the Brazilian driver is not able to race," a Ferrari statement said.
"Michael Schumacher has shown his willingness and in the next few days he will undergo a specific programme of preparation at the end of which it will be possible to confirm his participation in the championship starting with the European Grand Prix on Aug. 23."
Although Schumacher has been retired for almost three years, he felt that he owed it to Ferrari to step in for Massa until the Brazilian is fit enough to return.
"This afternoon I met with (team principal) Stefano Domenicali and (president)
Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe," Schumacher said on his official website.
"Though it is true the Formula One chapter has been closed for me for some time, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore this unfortunate situation.
"But as the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge."
Schumacher must prove his fitness first, but he has some time to prepare as the F1 season takes a summer break ahead of the European Grand Prix in Valencia.
Schumacher, 40, sustained a neck injury in a motorcycle accident in February, and must prove he is fully recovered before embarking on his comeback.
During his career, Schumacher won 91 times in 250 grand grix starts until he called it a day and retired in October 2006.