The most succesful, and arguably the best, F1 driver of all time is set to make a remarkable comeback to Formula 1, two and a half years after hanging up his helmet.
“The most important thing first: thanks God, all news concerning Felipe are positive. I wish him all the best again,” he said on his official website.
“I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe. Though it is true that the chapter Formula 1 has been closed for me since long and completely, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am I also very much look forward to facing this challenge.”
The decision to place Schumacher into the vacant seat left after Felipe Massa’ horrendous freak accident in Hungary, can not have been a difficult one for Domenicali and di Montezemolo to make. Between them, it’s been 15 years since either of Ferrari’s test drivers competed in F1. Add into the mix a competitive Ferrari, a need for a positive piece of PR and the need to stick a rocket up Kimi Raikkonen’s backside and it’s a brilliant placement.
Odds on Bernie’s pretty stoked too. Valencia was set to be a low-turnout event anyway, and with Alonso’s Renault team barred from competition, it had looked like the next race would be a bit of a non-event fanwise. But now? Oh now I’d say it’ll be a sell out.
As will Spa, and that most glorious of homecomings at Monza.
In other news BMW said they were pulling out of F1. I’ll deal with that more tomorrow.
Having spoken to a number of people in the know over the weekend, I left Hungary feeling that no matter how bonkers it sounded, Michael Schumacher would be making his F1 comeback in Valencia. And now I just can’t wait to get to Spain.
Bring it on.