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Massa injury fuels speculation Schumacher could return
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Massa injury fuels speculation Schumacher could return
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Jul 2009   |  4:54 pm GMT  |  90 comments

While Felipe Massa’s condition continues to improve in hospital, speculation regarding who will stand in for the Brazilian at next month’s European Grand Prix in Valencia is mounting.

Word in Italy is that there is still concern about Massa’s sight in his left eye, with some suggestion that the optic nerve may be damaged. However Massa’s doctor Dino Altman, this afternoon said, “Felipe has no damage to his left eye. He opened it a little, it is still swollen, but he can see well. There is no obvious damage.” Only after detailed checks on the optic nerve will it be known whether Massa will race again.

Doctors at the AEK hospital are saying that he will be released in around 10 days time.

Michael Schumacher has stated several times that he is not interested in a return to Formula 1, however, his spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told the BBC today that he would not automatically reject the idea should Ferrari ask him. The important thing about this message is that he is willing to race, Ferrari would not want to be the ones to initiate this.

This idea, however, was soon quashed by the German’s manager Willi Weber who spoke with the 40-year-old yesterday and told the Daily Mail: “The pressure on him would be huge. He would be expected to win, but he has not driven this car.

“When Michael was racing he would get as close to perfection as possible. In this case, it would not be perfection; it would be a gamble – and that’s not Michael’s style.”

Ferrari’s alternatives, though, are poor with the team’s test drivers Luca Badoer, 38 and Marc Gene, 35 unlikely to be offered the seat. That would leave Schumacher as the team’s only remaining reserve driver.

Should Schumacher decide to return, he’ll be at the same age as Nigel Mansell when the Brit made his successful return to Formula 1 with Williams in 1994 which included victory at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide and it would come just weeks after Lance Armstrong, also a seven-times champion, made an astonishing comeback in the Tour de France, becoming the second oldest rider to take to the podium in Paris.

Despite not having been in the car since 2007, Schumacher still trains everyday while the regulations would allow the German to use last year’s car to get back up to speed ahead of Valencia.

It is ironic, though, that should this come together, Schumacher make his return at a track he doesn’t know. But just imagine what the atmosphere will be like at Monza just two races later.

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90 Comments
  1. In your opinion will Schumi return? Great biography on him by the way, couldn’t stop reading it, it was so interesting! For those who haven’t read it yet, you simply have to!

  2. adam Baldock-Apps says:

    James, is there any chance of Alonso invoking a get out clause with Renault – given their ban at his home GP, that would allow him to move across early?

    Personally id be very surprised in MS got back in the Ferrari, what would his motivation be?

  3. CTM says:

    Schumacher expected to win? Really I don’t expect it. But it’s not about Schumacher, is it? It’s about Schumacher being a team player and helping out the team that did so much for him (and vice versa, of course). He claims to hold Ferrari close to his heart, still a paid up ambassador for the team, refuses to drive anything with publicity on 4 wheels that isn’t Fiat Group. Well show it then…

    Now I’d respect him if he or Weber said, he’s out of shape, or doesn’t want to race because he’s through, and his family are more important. Fair enough.

    But to say no due to what can only be his or Weber’s ego, or his “legacy”. Proof again…

  4. Yasser says:

    man i get the goosebumps whenever i imagine schmacher on the starting grid again.
    If I were him i wouldn’t come back, he left while he was making great performances,which rarely happens with sportsman.

    but I really wish we could see him racing at valencia.

  5. Michael says:

    As much as I love Michael, I’d really rather it be Luca. He’s been with them forever, and he obviously knows that car. If he got the ride and had a successful run, they’d have to pull his profile off f1rejects.com.

  6. Ray McGrath says:

    Another option would be to give the drive to Gene for Valencia (Badoer would be unlikely, as he hasn’t raced in F1 since 1999), thus allowing Schumacher to spend an extra week practicing in last year’s car, rather than having the added disadvantage of having to learn a new track.

    As Ferrari aren’t really on the pace this year anyway, I wouldn’t imagine Schumacher would be under that much pressure to win races. And in the unlikely event that he was off the pace, the resulting disappointment would hardly overshadow his 91 wins and 7 Championships.

  7. Rachid says:

    Marc Gene won Le Mans a few weeks ago, so surely he still knows how to race. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the nod. Would be good for Valencia, certainly if Alonso is a no show.

    But what about Alex Wurz? He was Gene’s teammate at Le Mans and won the series twice now. He was on the F1 grid less than two years ago and has done testing for Honda/Brawn after that. I’m sure he could spring a surprise, certainly on non-grooved tyres… remember 1997?

  8. Bryan says:

    James,

    Just as unlikely as Schumacher coming back, I’m wondering if you are hearing anything about an early Alonso switch, with the Renault suspension and all?

    Even if he does in fact have a contract with the team for next year, I’m sure Ferrari would be keen on waiting to hear if Massa will be able to return this year before trying to deal an early Alonso release. Luca Di Montezemolo seems like he’s waiting to see if the replacement will need to be for the rest of the season or only a few races, and I wonder if this has anything to do with that scenario.

    If they are already planning on buying out Kimi’s contract next year (again hypothetical), they would now have to add the pay-off to Renault for an early release to the cost of attaining Alonso, before even starting to pay his salary. Seems a long shot to me, but still keeping my fingers crossed!

  9. martin_tf says:

    I’ll be surprised if it does happen but it would make for an entertaining few races. Would be great to see how Schumacher and Raikkonen compare in equal cars and see Schumacher against Hamilton.

    I’ll give this 3/10 chance of taking place though.

  10. Gregor says:

    What about David Coulthard? He’s a pretty safe pair of hands and I’m sure he’d jump at the chance.

    Whether Red Bull would allow it is another question of course.

    I can’t really think of anyone else who wouldn’t be a bit of a gamble. I’m sure Jacques Villeneuve has called them already!

  11. Vince says:

    I can’t even imagine Monza! It would be too good to be true that’s how I know it won’t happen. We’ll have to be content with a sub-par
    test driver and an Alonzo-less parade at Valencia. These are the kinds of disappointments we should be used to as F1 fans, no?

  12. Ali says:

    Hi James,

    Please let me remind you that Schumacher made a test in April, 2008.

    I would really be ecstatic if Schumi would return to racing but I don’t want to see him lapping slower than Raikkonen. I hope he is wise enough to decide whether it would be appropriate for his reputation and for Ferrari. If he feels it would be the best way to return to racing, then I would heil him with all my arms wide open.

  13. Ronnie M says:

    The Return of the King would probably be the most eagerly awaited return in sporting history. Back in 2006 when Schumacher retired he was still the “man” to beat and with the god given talent he possess there is no doubt that if he were to stand in for Massa he would surely give Alonso, Hamilton and Co something to think about!!!

  14. Although I am not usually a fan of atheletes who come out of retirement and end up not living up to their legend (e.g., Michael Jordan), I think this would be exciting. It would be great to see Schumacher in a “new” style F1 car, and I am sure Bernie would love what it would do for the ratings. Also, given that Schumacher acted as a mentor for Massa during their time together at Ferrari, it would be a touching tribute to that relationship.

  15. Teg says:

    If he’s ever had the slightest urge to have ‘one more go’ then this has got to be a perfect opportunity.

    There won’t be so much pressure to win the championship (since it’s only for ‘a few’ races, not a whole season) and if it doesn’t go so well he’ll be able to blame the lack of practice/physical training.

    This perhaps gives him one last opportunity to try F1 without serious fear of really damaging his reputation.

    Given their position in the constructor’s championship, Ferrari could even use the seat to rotate between a few drivers for the rest of the season, try out some young talent (Bortolotti?) and maybe let Schumacher have a go as well :)

  16. Manager rules out Schumacher return

    By Jonathan Noble and Michele Lostia Tuesday, July 28th 2009, 12:50 GMT

    Michael Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber has moved quickly to deny speculation that the German driver could make a shock return to Formula 1.

    With Ferrari set to begin its hunt for a temporary replacement for the injured Felipe Massa, Schumacher’s name has been mentioned because of his long-standing links to the Italian team.

    The rumours intensified after his spokeswoman said that he would ‘consider’ any offer to drive the car if the team approached him.

    However, following meetings between Schumacher and Weber at the seven-time world champion’s Geneva home on Monday, talk of the German making a racing comeback has been dismissed.

    Weber told The Daily Mail: “Whoever sits in the car at the next race in Valencia, it will not be Michael Schumacher. I am not 100 per cent sure; I am 200 per cent sure.

    “The pressure on him would be huge. He would be expected to win, but he has not driven this car. When Michael was racing he would get as close to perfection as possible. In this case, it would not be perfection; it would be a gamble – and that’s not Michael’s style.”

    The news about Schumacher comes on the back of encouraging progress with Massa’s recovery at the AEK Hospital in Budapest.

    The Brazilian’s personal doctor Dino Altman said on Tuesday that he was hopeful Massa’s eye had not suffered any damage in the crash – as had been initially feared.

    “Felipe has opened his left eye and he can see,” Altmann told ANSA. “There’s no apparent damage. The eye is morphologically healthy.”

    Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali visited Massa in hospital on Tuesday and was upbeat about how the driver was.

    “He has recognised me and told me he can’t remember anything,” he said. “Felipe is making encouraging progress so we look forward to his return soon. The future? We’ll try to understand how he reacts, then we’ll take our decisions.”

  17. sorry, should have read all your article, that’s what headlines do for you

  18. Steve says:

    Or Alonso?

    BTW, a few typos in the second paragraph…

  19. John says:

    Lots of people talk about quitting at the top, but very few do. I would love to Schuey in F1 again, but it won’t be the glorious return that his fans want to see. For that reason, I really hope that it doesn’t happen. That said, if it does I’ll be buying a ticket and flying out, it’ll generate a lot of interest.

  20. GP says:

    The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind. That is, one Fernando Alonso.

  21. Rob H says:

    I personally hope they give the test drivers one race each as thanks for their work over the last several years, then maybe bring back Schumacher for Monza. When McLaren briefly lost Montoya to injury in ’06 they could have given Hamilton a shot in the car but instead chose to reward De La Rosa and Wurz with a race each. That was a nice touch.

  22. Cridland [CridComment@gmail] says:

    Silly Season just got a whole lot more –or less– silly. We just don’t know which!

  23. Although I highly doubt that he’ll return, it would be epic to see Schumacher racing Hamilton just as both teams start to come back on the pace. It would be even cooler to see two former world champions at Ferrari, both of whom has nothing to lose in terms of the championship.

  24. Paul says:

    Please let it be tried… I have tickets to Monza… :-)

  25. Meeklo says:

    “the German to use last year’s car to get back up to speed ahead of Valencia”

    Interesting point there. How come more teams haven’t used this loophole in the rules to test bits and pieces this year, kind of a hybrid 2008/2009 car as they frequently do over winter testing.

  26. Lephturn says:

    Schumi coming back would just be awesome!

    Even if it’s only for a few races, it would be huge for F1 and Ferrari. Wouldn’t every motorsports fan in the entire world tune in to see that? You have to think Bernie will be pushing for it.

  27. Montoya fan says:

    I didnt know about the last years car rule. Thats interesting. I actually think that expectation on him will be that he will be rusty, cam in last minute and wont match Kimi, and is in a bad car (all the things I believe is te case). So actually I think the weight of expectation on him will be pretty low, so the pressure wont be on him so much and he could spring a surprise. If he doesnt perform like he used to I wont particularly think less of his legacy. In fact after Mansell’s poor 1995 season, his legacy is still spoken of about his prime years.

  28. JP says:

    How about giving Tom Watson a go? What a story Schumacher would be.

  29. Andy Fov says:

    I tihnk it’s the perfect circumstance for MS to return. The Ferrari has been pretty poor thus far this year, but it’s improving – There’s more to be gained than lost from the present situation. Provided Michael isn’t humbled by Kimi (unlikely!) what has he got to lose?

    I’d love to see him return and do well, and he was the man I loved to hate since the mid 90s.

    I bet he’s itching to race on slicks and have a KERS button to play with too!

  30. monktonnik says:

    This would provide me with a real Dilemma. I swupported Shumacher until he retired. I then vowed to support Button until the end of his career. Who will I support if the Ubermeister returns? Can he make it 8

    Seriously though, I hope that he does return, but I doubt that he will.

  31. Rich says:

    If I were Ferrari and wanted a temporary replacement for Felipe – I would use neither of my test drivers nor Michael Schumacher (too old and not enough recent F1 experience). I doubt if Flavio would allow Fernando a chance to drive for Ferrari (I know his contract might say a guaranteed drive but not for the opposition). I would hire Bourdais – recent experience with a Ferrari-engined F1 car plus he is managed by Nicholas Todt (I think) who also manages Felipe. If Bourdais is still slow we will then know he is not F1 material.

  32. Graeme says:

    Hi James,

    We could all dream of MS back in a F1 car! Somehow I think without Ross Brawn and his old team that this is a non starter. But he is involved and has attended some races…so he is the best option, unless Alonso could move over sooner…..

  33. Max says:

    What about Bourdais? He’s one of the few people who’s driven one of this year’s F1 cars who’s not under contract to somebody else. He’s also managed by Nicolas Todt, Jean Todt’s son and Felipe Massa’s manager.

    He probably wouldn’t have the same sort of pace as Kimi, but Ferrari don’t need a world-beater since they’re not challenging for championships right now.

  34. Michael says:

    You can add Tom Watson’s British Open performance to your list of old guys giving it a pretty good go.

  35. ilias says:

    it ‘d be great to see schumi back for some guest drives,no matter the results!
    ..but james you didn’t notice bourdais who’s up to speed with the 09 cars and his manager is…nicolas todt!not such a spectacular choice but a logical one as he should be able to get some points and maybe reignite his career

  36. I can’t really believe it will happen but Michael’s return would be the greatest sports story of the year.

    The thought of Raikkonen, Hamilton and Schumacher, all in competitive cars, will put 1000s on the gate and millions on the TV Audience.

    Bernie will be on the phone arranging the deal as we speak.

    I bet Lewis just can’t wait to take Michael on.

  37. Sam Brewer says:

    Michael is my all time favourite driver, however I think he is to clever to come back now as he knows how quick Mclaren and Redbulls are and I dont think Ferrari would have the pace to match. I think the only way he would come back is if he new the Ferrari was quick enough to win, which at present it isn’t. However he would put these kids to shame if he did.

  38. Robert Orton says:

    Willi Webber also said “Whoever sits in the car at the next race in Valencia, it will not be Michael Schumacher. I am not 100 per cent sure; I am 200 per cent sure.”

    These comments don’t leave too much room for doubt. It seems pretty darn unlikely to me that Schumacher will be doing any racing in F1 this season.

  39. Tomas says:

    It would be great to MS back in the cockpit it would increase audience ratings immediately to see how he would get on with the new regs. It would also be welcomed by FIA/FOM as it would take alot to the focus away from FOTO and the new concord agreement. If Michael comes back I could see Ferrari splitting its strategy especially as they are so far behind in the championship they have nothing to loose by having Kimi continue with this years car and Michael on new developments as a test drive and going forward developements for the 2010 car.

  40. Roberto says:

    Schumacher & Senna are the benchmarks of the sport and the idea to have him back it could only be good news from the fans side to the commercial side. There are ony 3 obstacles, the neck injury due the bike accident, the sense of tremendous pressure from the excitement and the ego side to be measured against younger and hunger drivers after being retired for almost 3 years. The latter could be the most influential, but also we have to keep in mind these guys are above all fierce competitors.

  41. Corey says:

    Very sorry about Felipe and hope he’s back on the grid, but very excited about the possibility, regardless of how remote, of a Schumacher comeback.

    Doubt he could win with the F6O, but seeing him on the grid again would be amazing. With apologies to Lewis, Kimi, Webber, Vettel and all the rest, they simply are not as compelling to watch as Michael.

    If not Michael, how about Bourdais? That Toro Rosso move looks very bad. Surely Bourdais could have done a much better job in the updated car than slogging along at the back of the grid all day.

  42. Peter says:

    In my opinion he would be silly to come back into a non-competitive car. Kimi’s second place was down to a terrific and agressive start and KERS. Also, Mclaren has just regained it’s form, Red Bulls are strong, Brawns are still strong and Renault have improved etc. He is not going to be interested in a 6th or 7th place.

  43. Rocky says:

    As a strong schumi fan, I’m in two minds regarding the rein master returning to the circuit. Ar one hand, it will be great to see him drive and show the young tarts how it’s done. On the other hand, his fitness is a concern and perhaps will be the hindering factor for him to challenge the likes of Kimi, Alonso, Button, Vettel and Lewis.

    If he does come as a stand in, I will be having my fingers crossed.

    PS: If Schumi does better than Kimi in these races, that would be the last straw and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari got rid of him next year.

  44. David Turnedge says:

    Schumi coming back would be fantastic. I don’t think anyone would expect him to win. But we would all love to see him competitive. It won’t happen, though imagine how his wife and kids would feel, replacing a seriously injured racing driver?

  45. Joel Heaton says:

    I think it would be great for the sport if Michael was to return, however he would be putting his reputation on the line. A lot would be expected from him by the fans and, having never driven this car before, it could be bad for him. Or spectacular. I’d love to see it :)

    Also, this is an interesting point:

    “Despite not having been in the car since 2007, Schumacher still trains everyday while the regulations would allow the German to use last year’s car to get back up to speed ahead of Valencia.”

    If that is the case, why can’t teams do that to keep their test drivers in the game, or to give younger drivers a chance to get used to F1-speed cars before making debuts? Then again, Alguersuari did a fine job without that luxury, so maybe it’s not too necessary. :)

  46. Andy Taylor says:

    I thought this was a bit of a non-story, you could put almost anyone’s name instead of MSC and still make headlines. I’m sure that even the Stig himself would “consider” a drive if, he were to be asked.

    1. Snail says:

      The Stig is Michael Schumacher.

      Well, so they claimed on Top Gear.

  47. jw1980 says:

    James,

    Robert Kubica could be driving for Ferrari in Valencia and until which point Massa returns.
    The reason why I say this is that according to Autosport BMW will be announcing tomorrow that they will be pulling out of F1. Surely BMW will not stand in the way of this great opportunity for Kubica to resurrect his career?
    On another note if this really is true you can’t help but feel (as an F1 fan) betrayed by this decision from BMW. One can only hope that Sauber continues next year as before the BMW takeover. With Renault pulling out or selling (as per Joe Saward blog) I cannot understand what the manufacturer’s aims were during the recent upheavals. The fact that there were a raft of new teams wishing to enter F1 (some that were creditworthy) just adds to the frustration. In all likelihood we will still probably have a grid of just 20 cars next year but a different one to this season.
    On a final note would we miss BMW? They set deliberately easy targets for each season but this year when they were supposed to deliver they were woefully short.

  48. Andy Thomlinson says:

    James as much as I would love to see this happen because for me Michael was the best, I just cant see it.
    Willie Webber said that he is 200% sure Michael wont be racing for Ferrari in Valencia.
    Why would Schumi risk his lengendry status in a sub standard Ferrari that is not fighting for either of the championships. I dont see any motivation for him to come back or any real need for it ….. but it does make a good news story!

    Any word on weather BMW are going to pull out of F1 at the end of the season, they have an emergency press conference called for tomorrow morning?

  49. niceguyrichy says:

    I thought Shumi’s neck was still knackered from that heavy bike crash he had earlier in the year?

    hey, what chance DC gets the drive.. :p

  50. Filipe Viola says:

    I think someone confirmed that Marc Gene has a straight-line test on the F60 at the Vairano circuit on this Wednesday, i think this is a good indication of what is to come from the Ferrari camp.

    Last time Ferrari needed to replace a driver they didnt go for there test-pilots, they’ve chosen Mika Salo.

    F1 would love to see a battle between Schumacher vs Hamilton vs Vettel, it would’ve been solid Gold for Tv audiance and ticked sales, but Micheal doesnt need to proove anything anymore.

    Me personaly would love to see Nico Roseberg on a red car, dunno if its possible on the next few years.

  51. James says:

    Why do you say “the team’s test drivers Luca Badoer, 38 and Marc Gene, 35 unlikely to be offered the seat”? Seems to me Luca Badoer and to a lesser extent Gene would fill the void nicely. Nobody knows the car better then them, and its not like they are doing anything critical back at the factory.

  52. jk says:

    I am sure Bernie would love to see MS back as well…

  53. Paul Moss says:

    Why is Gene ‘unlikely’ to get the seat? Actual F1 racing experience, test driver of this years car, lack of options for Ferrari..seems a no-brainer. What am i missing?

    1. James Allen says:

      I think he may well be the first choice to get the seat, but he’s not fast enough

  54. Ray.C. says:

    Now what? As a lifelong Ferrari fan,that was my first question after the extent of Massa’s injuries were known.
    For me the only answer is Michael.
    With regard to Weber’s comments, If Jaime Alguersuari can be up to speed on Friday, I’m fairly confident Michael Schumacher can put in a respectable showing, even on a new track (to him) and no-one in their right mind would expect him to win.

    Monza ’06…I for one never bought it,I just don’t think he wanted to stop, and his final race was awesome.

    James, I know you’ve said the Ferrari/Alonso thing is a done deal and as much as I hope your wrong, it is understandable.
    Do you think Ferrari would buy him out of Renault early…like next week?

    1. James Allen says:

      Possible, but why should Renault help Ferrari, plus it looks like they’ll have a new driver in Spain anyway to replace Piquet, so to lose the best driver in F1 seems like a bad move. Only possibility is if Kubica is headed there for 2010 and he too moves early..

  55. dan says:

    Many names have been mentioned as replacement for Felipe but I am surprised that nobody mentioned Valentino Rossi (very close to Ferrari) or Sebastien Loeb (keen to race in F1) ;-)
    Takuma Sato or Anthony Davidson would be very good choices too or even Alan McNish or Frank Montagny.

  56. RH says:

    this sounds like a job for the stig!

  57. Anthony Davidson says:

    I’ll do it!?!?!?!

    1. Nigel Mansell says:

      NO I’M AVAILABLE, PICK ME..

    2. GuessHoo says:

      AD to Ferrari! Yay! Definitely gets my vote . . . providing he also continues @5LiveF1 commentary from the cockpit ! :)

      1. Anthony Davidson says:

        The way Jensons car is flailing and failing, I could see him eying up the seat. He’ll probably be wondering where Brawn will be next year anyway.

  58. It would be fantastic to see Michael back in F1, but unfortunately I doubt very much that this will happen…

    1. Wow… have I ever been happy to be wrong.

      Welcome back Michael!

  59. David Hodge says:

    Firstly, continued best wishes to Felipe as we want to see him back soon.

    It would be great to see Michael race again so we could see him up against Kimi in equal machinery. So we could compare him to the younger drivers – Seb Vettel for example. So we could see how he gets on driving probably the third best car on the grid (Red Bull and McLaren ahead now).

    However, I feel that if the speculation about BMW is true, it may well be Robert Kubica who is in the car. He will be available.

  60. Hash says:

    It will be great to see MS again, and no just that, but to see him compete with Lewis, Vettel (with a winning car) Kimi and Alonso (again). It will ne special. Besides that, the rating of F1 will be higher, not just in Monza, but in the rest of the remaining races. It will be nice, let`s hope…

  61. Ted says:

    Yes! Please!!!

    Bring back Schumi!
    Bring back Schumi!!
    Bring back Schumi!!!

    He didn’t win the championship in his last 2 years of racing and in my view this didn’t diminish his reputation in any way. We know the Ferrari is not the class of the field this year but it is getting better all the time. This for me (as a fan of F1 and Schumi) would be the ultimate solution to Ferrari’s enforced driver vacancy. It might even motivate Kimi to pull his socks up…

    Schumi has maintained his diplomatic disposition and hasn’t launched into vitriolic allegations or bitter recriminations like a certain crooning, be-spectacled ex. champion did when he vacated the driving seat. I’ve no doubt that a Schumi return to the grid would be a great boost for the sport at a time when it needs all the positive news stories it can get.

    BRING IT ON…

  62. Alistair Blevins says:

    Is there really no other viable candidates over and above Badoer, Gene and Schumacher?

    What beggars belief in my opinion is that Ferrari retains 2 journeyman test drivers with no eye on the future.

    Whilst Schumacher would undoubtedly be a competitive and crowd-pleasing choice, he surely lacks the fitness, edge and fire that he would absolutely require (of himself) to step into F1 again.

    I’m probably not the first to mention this, but Alonso is free for Valencia.

    Isn’t he going that direction anyway?

    Just a thought.

  63. f1 fan says:

    i think that marc gene should drive for the european gp. although he has not driven a current f1 car in a race recently, he did win the 24 hours of lemans this year and has been racing in other series. he is also spanish which would please the spanish fans due to renault being banned

  64. James,

    What’s there to stop Ferrari choosing from outside their circles?
    We saw it when they hired Salo over Badoer in ’99, so I don’t why they won’t do that again.

    1. James Allen says:

      Who do you suggest?

  65. Carsten says:

    Apparently BMW leavs Formula1…..

  66. Silas Denyer says:

    If the regulations allow MS to get up to speed using last year’s car, why couldn’t that have been done for STR’s rookie? Instead of that, he was seemingly thrown in at the deep end having never – more or less – driven an F1 car before!

    As to other driver options, Villeneuve is available and has stated a desire / intention to return to F1 :)

    1. rpaco says:

      Because they are Ferrari and have different rules to everyone else.

      The 2009 Sporting regs say:
      22.1 a) Track testing shall be considered any track running time undertaken by a competitor entered in the Championship with the exception of :
      i) promotional or demonstration events carried out using tyres provided specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier ;
      ii) three one day young driver training tests carried out between the end of the last Event of the Championship and 31 December of the same year, any such driver having not competed in more than two F1 World Championship Events ; iii) eight one day aerodynamic tests carried out on FIA approved straight line or constant radius sites between 1 January 2009 and the end of the last Event of the Championship.
      b) No competitor may carry out more than 15,000km of track testing during a calendar year. c) No track testing may take place between the start of the week preceding the first Event of the Championship and 31 December of the same year.

      So no, it does not say you can do testing in last year’s car. I suppose Shumi could get away by saying he is not entered in the championship, actually Ferrari have until 4pm on the Thursday of scrutineering to enter the new driver with the Race stewards. (He could still use this year’s car under the “not entered” loophole.)

      He must have a superlicence though, does Schumi still qualify for one?

      Having said all that, I will predict that Schumi is eventually at least half a second quicker than anyone has ever been in the car, also that he goes off at least three times in practice, finding the edge.

  67. Stevie P says:

    Not a bad shout putting Schumi in the car on a temporary basis… until they know the full situation with Massa. Can’t see Badoer or Gene getting the seat. Might also be a chance to throw in one of their young Italian prospects (who they regularly offer an end of season test to) a la Toro Rosso, and see how they get on. But won’t be surprised if Schumi gets to drive temporarily.

    I can imagine Lewis being excited by that prospect too – he hasn’t raced against him in F1.

    Plus F1 needs some interesting positive news, after the withdrawl of BMW (quel surprise!)… can you imagine how Kubica is feeling now, after last seasons opportunity was blown (to focus on this seasons car) – whoops!!

  68. Manuel says:

    Weber said he’s 200% sure MS won’t race in Valencia but said nothing about next race after that.

  69. David Brown says:

    I’d love to see Schumi in the car, but I don’t think it adds up, as Willi stated he could end up looking daft….and for what.

    Gene really ought to be the obvious choice, but there are a lot of quick drivers out there. Mr Davidson is one of the fastest…but I can’t see his luck letting him get the drive.

    The way I see the Massa reports… 4 weeks rest and he’ll be back…and no offence to anyone I’ve mentioned but he is easily the quickest in that car.

  70. Ben Cooper says:

    So a big argument about MS not coming back would be down to his fitness but what makes anyone think LB or MG would be in a better shape?

    I would personally love to see Anthony Davidson or Takuma Sato take the seat but i don’t think it will happen. I honestly think Vitantonio Liuzzi has the best chance to take it.

  71. Snail says:

    The way I see the Massa reports… 4 weeks rest and he’ll be back…

    Not a chance. Brain injuries take a long time to heal.

    A few years back a friend of mine had a similar injury (but a lower speed, he just fell over). Took over a year to recover and he still didn’t have total control over the little finger of his right hand.

    There is no way Felipe will be driving in 4 weeks time. Hell will freeze over first.

  72. Ted says:

    Only one person has mentioned Valentino Rossi and Sebastien Loeb. I haven’t checked the Moto GP & WRC schedules, but either of these super subs would make for a heck of a publicity coup if something could be arranged.

    On the other hand Scott Speed and Takuma Sato would probably give rise to a blip on the Ferrari sales radar in North America or Japan…

    But for my money Schumi’s would be the ultimate comeback.

    P.S. Is reply #57 the real Anthony Davidson? Cool if it is. Give him a shot at the drive as well, just so long as he doesn’t spin off in the first few laps…

  73. Rob A says:

    What about Fisichella?

    -Italian
    -Years of experience to draw on, including this year; also knows what it’s like to drive for a top team
    -I imagine he’d love to do it, and wouldn’t command much $$$
    -Relatively easy to get him out of his Force India contract (or on loan), compared to Alonso at least! And FI can slot Liuzzi in his place easily
    -With all due respect to Fisi, he’d be the perfect balance of good enough to not be an embarassment but at the same time not so good as to unsettle Kimi, or indeed Felipe. If they put Alonso in that seat (which I doubt is possible, but anyway) it might look like a kick in the teeth for Felipe. Fisi however is much more believable as a temporary replacement.

  74. Michael C says:

    It’s a terrible shame we have to be discussing this – and get well soon Felipe but it seems a no-brainer for Michael (if he wants to) to return on a short-term basis. Unless he has an ego the size of a planet what has he got to lose. His reputation (occasional very prominent spur of the moment mistakes aside)- is very unlikely to be tarnished by his return whatever the outcome – and what a dream for Bernies nonstop soap opera!! And – by the way -what a ridiculous decision by the stewards (FIA?)concerning Renault in Hungary

  75. joseph farrugia says:

    it’s not an IF but an IS!!
    he has been confirmed as a temporary replacement for felipe.

    BTW why r all teams on holiday whilst ferrari are testing straight line speed??? live on sky this morning

  76. VonSpeeX says:

    bad luck mansell and davison….micheals gonna do the job in valencia

  77. MattB says:

    And so Schumi seemingly is coming back! I REALLY can’t wait for the Valencia race now. I just hope it goes well for him and he beats Kimi somewhere (quali on similar fuel or the race!). Wonder what odds you could get on a Schumacher Monza victory….

  78. Nick says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  79. guy says:

    I cannot believe it. I thought Michael would feel as though he has nothing to prove. Apparently he still wants to drive…

    Oh which tracks do you favor Schumacher?

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