F1 Winter Break
Schumacher confirms shock comeback
Schumacher confirms shock comeback
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jul 2009   |  9:53 pm GMT  |  156 comments

Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher has confirmed he will make a sensational return to Formula 1 as a replacement for Felipe Massa in an amazing turn of events.

The German has previously rejected suggestions regarding a return to the sport; however, a sense of loyalty to the team in its time of need has inspired his return.

“The most important thing first: thanks God, all news concerning Felipe are positive. I wish him all the best again,” said Schumacher.

“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 of Formula 1 has been closed for me for a long time, 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.”

A Ferrari statement said Schumacher would undertake a specific training programme to ensure he is up to full fitness. Should he pass, he’ll take over from the European Grand Prix on August 23.

Schumacher’s last race in Brazil in 2006 was a masterpiece, even though the result doesn’t look that way. He was miles faster than anyone else that day and it was the perfect way to sign off. Three years have passed and he’s clearly not been fulfilled by life after Formula 1.

Ferrari have a moment of great need and he clearly feels close to them. It is not ideal for him to return at such short notice and he will be driving on a track he doesn’t know.

But the car was good enough for a podium in Budapest last weekend and the sport will be electrified by his return.

At a time when drivers are getting younger, we have a 40-year-old competing in a Grand Prix. There will be a driver born in the 1960s sharing the grid with one born in 1990s.

Formula 1’s capacity to surprise never ends. I’ll have to write a new chapter to the biography and I wouldn’t bet against him winning.

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Hi James,

Any word on the reaction from other drivers to Schumachers return? I am tempted to go to Spa and would love to know if he is planning to stick around for more than one race!


Pretty amazing news that's for sure. I started to really like Schumacher in 2006, he became less dislikeable I think. Now it's gonna be pretty awesome seeing him compete against Vettel, Hamilton, Button, Raikkonen (what a superteam this will create) and the other frontrunners! 🙂 Valencia will be exciting!


How is he going to prepare when he is not allowed to test this year's car?


It is my understanding that the regulations would allow him to test with last years car.

While this is not quite as good as testing with the current car, I think it should be good enough to bring Michael fully up to speed.


Only problem is the factory has to close for two weeks so it's going to be tough to get him out there.


Would it be possible for Ferrari to negotiate an exemption to the "gentleman's agreement", I mean they are pretty exeptional circumstances. Mind you, the staff probably have holidays booked etc.


I read somewhere, quite possibly on this site, that he is allowed to test in one of the older cars, like the F2007 in order to do the minimum distance get his superlicence.

I'm gussing wouldn't be too difficult to remove aero and fit slick tyres on that car to get a general feel for what it is like to drive in todays cars.

God when i woke up and read this, I instantly yelled out F@#$ YEAH!

This almost completly evens out the fact that Renault will most probably not be racing in Valencia.

God, the organisers for the Valencia GP would be estatic, I'm suspecting this would counter any fear of low spectator numbers.


Can't wait to see him in action. Michael for many of us, is simply a man beyond words. The word 'great' simply does not do him enough justice.

I dare not hope he will dominate as he did in the peak of his career. But again, look at him. He's 40 and he looks no older than some of the 30 year old drivers. He certainly looks a decade younger than Rubens. And I hope beyond hope, that he can win another race.

I think his 2006 season was terribly underrated. While he had his moment of madness in Monaco, and silly mistakes in Hungary and Australia (both from hounding a recalcitrant car). He also had races like Silverstone, China, Brazil, Monza, Magny Cours and Suzuka (he was magnificent right up until that Type 056 gave up on him).

Michael has a certain magnetism about him that love him or loathe him, is difficult to ignore. Not even Lewis has that about him.

F1, no matter Michael's performance, will be better for having him compete.

Can't wait to see if the return of Michael might light a fire cracker underneath Kimi's backside.

That would make Michael's return a win win for Ferrari...


amazing turn of events! i have literal goosebums, everybody wanted it to happen but I certianly could not see it happening, simply wishful thinking! Amazing news on a day when BMW confirmed that they are pulling out.



LOL - goosebums! I've heard of a duck's ass hair style, but a goosebum produces some scary visuals. 🙂

Fantastic news about Schumi - I think it's a win-win, as he may not be entirely up to speed immediately, but he's not coming out of retirement permanently, so he can enjoy himself while doing his friend Felipe a favour by preventing someone else (who might nick the drive long-term!) sitting into his car.

However, Michael with a small loss of his edge and reflexes is still more than a match for most drivers! I don't think fitness per se will be a problem, and also I do NOT think Michael would do this if he thought there was any chance of him looking silly.

Two things come to mind though - the first is how much MS is getting paid per race, and whether Felipe's salary is being paid too?

And second how Corinna feels about this - there was much talk when he retired originally that it was her urging that led him to take the step. Any thoughts on either of those James?


AWESOME. although, he doesn't know the car, the tyres, the management of them during a long stint, kers, the track...kind of up against it, isn't he? oh and that's not including that the entire grid is not separated by much on laptime and it's as fierce as ever....good luck to him on performing a miracle!


This is not good at all... this is another athlete who needs the spotlight and does not know when to walk away. As for his "loyalty" to the team...? Last time I checked Ferrari has two test drivers on board who have logged lots of laps in this car...


you guys are really up in arms... Michael was always "itching to come back" as Ralf said.. this is not loyalty here, the guy wants to race... fine... I just hate when old Champs coem back... Michael Jordan was great, but came back and was avg at best... boxers do this as well a lot....


Perhaps you should look at the test drivers records for F1 races and then you'll see why there weren't used. This is incredible loyalty from Schumacher, putting his reputation on the line in a car he doesn't know, with unknown tyres, no testing, some KERS thingy bob and with zero testing time in the car. To do that shows incredible loyalty to Ferrari and to Massa. I don't think many other circumstances would have got Schumacher back in an F1 car, I doubt even an injury to Kimi would have.

Perhaps your username tells it's own story and you're worried the Iceman will get blow away by a 40year old gent? !


With no in-season testing, the "test drivers" would have driven the car back before the season began. The car has changed a lot since then, so they are little better off than anyone else without experience of the Ferrari as it is now.

I'm not sure if teams still have seperate test and race teams, but surely Schumacher knows almost everyone who would be at the Grand Prix already. It's too early to know if/when Massa will return (and whether this news will spur him on to be well enough to not need replacing at all), and if Kimi will retire - so Ferrari only need a stop-gap, rather than signing up another driver to a multi-year deal that they may not be able to honour.


I think the rules prevent them from driving? I may be wrong but I think thats the case. I think its a good thing to have older people in sport


Hey Red Kimi,

Sounds like you're afraid your (Red) Kimi will get his doors blown off! 😉


Both drivers are crap, be honest. Schu is the best option for all of us!


Are you serious. Schumi has never been one for spotlight. He is more popular then every other driver on the grid I think he responded to a request from the team he works for. As for the other two test drivers. They are slugs compared to schumi and have hardly driven this car because there has been no inseason testing.


Brilliant news, just what the sport needs. Can see him doing very well maybe podium in Valencia if he avoids a drive thru etc! MSC is back!


James, I've got a title for the bio - Schumacher - Unfinished Business!


how about Schuminator 2



Even if he doesn't do so well according to the high standards that people have set for him, I still believe he will atleast be in the top 5!

My respect for this awesome sportsperson will not diminish even if he rubbish in this current car, considering his fitness and lack of tesing.


This sounds like a great plot for a movie!


I knew you'd get a plug in for your Schumi biograpy in there, James! But I'm not going to buy it again unless he wins the championship.

I'm not a massive Schumacher fan, but just like everyone else I can't wait to see him racing in F1 again. It should be the perfect motivation for Kimi, and it should be interesting to see how he compares to Hamilton and Vettel. It would be incredible if he was as quick as he was back in 2006, but it wouldn't surprise me too much.

One interesting fact- Schumacher is now more than twice as old as the new boy Alguersairi!


I was intrigued enough to check out when Algersauri was born (Mar 23rd 1990). At that time, Schumacher was still driving Group C cars for Peter Sauber. So, you could say that Schumacher was racing professionally even before some of the current drivers were born.

Yeah, I got "The Edge of Greatness" too, but if he wins the remaining races, I think James will probably need a new title for a 3rd edition...


Has he even tested F-60? I am still stunned and so so thrilled by this news.

Michael Balthazar

So James, what odds should I take on Michael winning @ Monza?


Hamilton vs Schumacher!


now if only it were a fair fight 😉


It might not be a fair fight, but one will win in Monza...Providing Brawn get their act together and start bagging decent points Jenson may well end up with the 2009 WDC.


Yes one for Alguersuari to tell his grandkids, "I raced with Michael Schumacher"! If Schumi is still with us under the lights at Singapore that will also be very interesting, as will comparisons with Hamilton, Vettel, Button and Webber. Ticket sales for Valencia will do well now regardless of what happens with Renault. It would be crazy for the FIA to keep Alonso out of the tussle of former champions on home soil though.


Schumacher is old enough to be Alguersuari's Dad!!!


Wonder what Kimi thinks about this. Bet he's smiling even less now.

Stephen Pattenden

Wow, wow, wow, wow!

I am so excited by the thought of Schumi turning a wheel in F1 again.

Can you imagine the atmosphere at Monza if he is still racing then?!

Shame we've got to wake a few weeks.

Make sure you keep us posted on his testing times in last years car please James...


Don't want to be an pain [mod] or anything but Schumi wasn't the quickest guy by a mile in Brazil 2006 - Massa was. When Massa was following Schumi after the puncture et al he had to back off to avoid Schumi getting a blue flag (albeit Schumi was heavier). Massa was peerless that weekend, they only way Schumi would've beaten him would've been team tactics!

Anyway, it's genuinely exciting news, it's just a pain that we have to wait so long to see the man back in action!


I'm not a Michael Schumacher fan, but I respect him. He's one of the greats and this 'super sub' gig is incredible.

It's also, i.m.h.o., a sign of support to Massa. By picking MS, Massa will be sure to be able to come back to the Scuderia. If Ferrari had chosen a young gun, the message could have been "watch out Felipe, perhaps your substitute is better and we'll keep him".

Besides, we have now 4 world champions racing each other. When was last time that happened? 1999 (Hill, MS, Villeneuve, Häkkinen)? Now we have Schuey, Alonso, Kimi and Lewis. Great!


Good point,

Surely the sense of loyalty Michael refered to was to be in support of Felipe to keep his position in the team.

I love those guys!


I agree Benjamin, although I am not a big fan either, there was a little press around at the end of 06 that part of the decision to leave was because Massa would be out of a seat if he stayed.

I can't help but feel that if Michael didn't get back in the car, we might see Alonso or Kubica in the seat - and Massa might find himself fighting to get back in.


Now that's an interesting angle - it would be nice to think it was true in Felipe's current circumstances - well done for taking the chance Michael and get well soon Felipe

Alistair Blevins

Whilst it was always a possibility I am stunned by this news!

Ferrari were clearly in a fix given their lack of talent in the stable but as I posted earlier today there was no way in the world I thought Michael would go for it.

Shows just how much I know!

He left F1 absolutely on the top of his game and I would loathe for this episode to tarnish his stellar driving career.

I think we'd all like to remember Alan Jones and Nigel Mansell as they were in their prime and not the failed returns... I know circumstances are very different in this instance, but a lot changes in 2 years and 18 months out of the saddle.

I hope this is a comeback in the Andretti '82, Lauda '84 and Prost '93 mould!


If Lance Armstrong can achieve a Tour de France podium on his come back at 39, Schumacher should be able to manage the fitness required to complete a GP distance. All he needs then are for the reflexes and racing brain to be as before!

To extend the parallels with Armstrong further; I wonder if this temporary return will fire his desire to compete and, as with Armstrong, he will be tempted to race next season too?


How many more favors is Rubens going to do for Schumacher? Ultimately he is responsible for his comeback !!


Hmmmm Codemasters must be rubbing their hands with glee!!



Could you try to confirm whether Schumacher will driver at Monza too? he will probably drive around spa too as it is week after valencia but spa in terms of going on grand prix is not an option for me . If I could choose I would go for Mozna GP instead of Valencia. So thats the reason Im asking for confirmation. Forza Schumacher

I really look forward to your reply.


Piotrek, He's driving until Massa is fit again, according to Ferrari.


thought you meant Ralf for a second there...


Good one Tom. Made me laugh.


I'm not a Schumi fan and never have been but something inside me is making me feel very excited about his return!



I am so excited to see Schumi return, not only to see how he fares against the likes of Hamilton, Kubica but this could be the making of Raikonnen having Schu aside him in the team could really give him something to prove (no disrespect at all to lovely Massa) I for one can't wait to see Michael back in action roll on Valencia!!


I'm not a Schumacher fan or a Ferrari fan by any stretch of the imagination, but it will certainly be exciting to see him back. As I understand it he won't be able to do anything other than straight-line runs in the 2009 car, but will be able to run the 2008 car, presumably on slicks and with the set-up dialled in as close to this year's car as possible, and I'm sure he'll be hitting the simulator pretty hard, so circuit knowledge (and KERS knowledge) shouldn't be much of a problem.

Does anyone know if they're allowed to remove flip-ups and so forth from last year's car to bring the downforce down to a reasonable facsimile of 2009, or do they have to run the last race configuration or something like that?

As for Gene and Badoer, they last drove this year's car in January or something, wasn't it? Not much of an option there...


Fr many of us MS fans, this is a dream come true. Today i came to the desk of a coworker, showed her the web page and she inmediately started to cry, amazing! that is how many peoples feel about it.

I hope he can be soon on an shape even to the actual drivers and that the F60 delivers good performance. Probaby Valencia won`t be his best race if he is on top 10 will be enough, but certainy Spa and Monza could be something amazing.

As James said i won`t bet agianst him winning!

Today the FOTA said that they are willing to analyze a 3 cars per team grid, maybe Ferrari are thinking on some more time for Michael?

Hope so


It's amazing how this news totally trumped BMW's pullout. Who even cares that Renault won't be at Valencia now? The only announcement greater than this would be Alonso joining Schumi and Kimi for a 3 car Ferrari shootout!


I am happy for him, but he is making a mistake just as Armstrong did. The car is not competitive he easily can be beaten by Red Bulls, Brawns and McLarens. I think he is fit enough he trains a few hours every day, but Kimi's podium finish was down to the his start and KERS. He will be enjoying Monza a lot though. Good Luck to him.


I can't see Kimi being happy with this. If he beats Schumacher it is only to be expected because he has 10 races plus winter testing in the car and he is 'match fit'. If he gets beaten then surely it is game over for Kimi?

Personally I am thrilled. I didn't much like Schumacher in his early days but I am always one for the history books being rewritten and so found it compelling as he broke all the records as his career progressed.

I felt he was hounded out of Ferrari a year or two before he was ready - Ferrari signed Kimi way too early and he liked Massa so did not want to upset his career. Now he has a chance to have the finale that was perhaps denied to him in 2006 when the announcement was so late in the season and he was fighting for the championship to the last race against Alonso. 2007 and 2008 could quite easily have been further Championships given the way things have turned out.

So every champion of the 21st Century is racing. Perhaps the curse of the all time winners list (the top four all have a number of wins ending in a 1 (91 Schumacher /51 Prost /41 Senna /31 Mansell) can be broken. The European GP which was like watching paint dry last year has a point of interest.

This without doubt, is the good news story F1 needs after Honda, BMW, Mosley v FOTA and the rest.


I agree.. this is a no win for Kimi wither way, plus the team will be 110% behind Michael, which has to make Kimi feel on an island


Stunning news. But how will he get up to speed with the new car and track? I hope Ferrari have a good simulator.


Long live the king, the champ is back. This is what f1 needed all the negative press, bmw leaving etc etc. Schumi coming back will get the focus back on racing. Bernie must be laughing at the moment. Advertising space on race tracks, cost of gridwalks etc etc just went up 10% because schumi.

Personally i think before the season is out schumi will win a race. This is all the motivation ferrari needed to push on with the design of the car. Schumi's input will be invaluable and a lot of this years development can be transferred to next seasons car. Give him 2 races and he will be up to speed.


Schumacher is bigger than F1 if you ask me and always has been. As soon as I heard the news I went straight to PadyPower to place a bet, but no odds available... an each way bet could yield a nice return.

One thing is for certain though, this will show everyone how ordinary Kimi really is when a 40 year old beats him afer not racing for 3 years.


How much I'd love to see Michael back in a Ferrari, up against Kimi in equal cars, and against the new generation of Hamilton, Vettel etc I think this is a publicity stunt.

Both Ferrari and Michael already know that Felipe will be OK (I hope) until Valencia, and when the time comes everybody will go "oh, what a shame, but we only said Michal would fill in for Felipe until he was fit to race, and voila, here he is, fit to compete in the European GP"

Well I guess it's a win-win.. Either Felipe makes a faboulous recovery (which we all want) or we'll get to see some more of Michael's magic in three weeks time.


All I can say is: "Oh No, not again." Truely saddened by this.

joseph farrugia


it's great news for us fans (and for the drivers too i presume) that schumacher is back and probably depressing for mark or luca badoer not to be given a chance.

this morning ferrari with mark gene' at the wheel were testing the car's straight line speed. shouldn't the teams be on forced vacation these two weeks??


Don't get me wrong....I am an ardent, life-long Formula 1 fan...and always will be.

But I haven't been this excited about an upcoming race since 2006! This season has been the best so far since Schumi retired in my opinion, and the fact he's coming back (albeit temporarily) just tops it off!

It will be very interesting to see how he deals with everything....the media, his fellow drivers etc...he won't be able to make much if any significant dent on either championship standings, which will be a fairly alien concept to him, so I wonder what personal goals he will set himself for this brief comeback (and considering he's not driven an F1 car since 08)? A win straight out? Or just Ferrari damage limitation and a stab at a few championship points? I'm pretty sure the fans and the media will expect far more than that......

Roll on 21st August for our first taste of him back in that red Prancing Horse...can't wait!


This is the best news Ive heard in F1 since they binned grooved tyres. Love him or not, the guy is a legend and his return is the shot in the arm that F1 needs right now. No doubt there were a few quiet words in the ear from Bernie.


This is an amazing twist to yet another fascinating season of F1 racing! Cant wait to see Schumcaher back in action against Kimi especially!


Will he appear in a white racing suit and helmet... aka The Stig!

The appearance of MS should boost ticket sales if nothing else.


This should be brilliant, Schumacher against Hamilton! Can't wait for Valencia!

I have come to quite like Schumacher of late, and was really impressed with him going on Top Gear pretending to be the Stig, he's starting to mellow out in his old age!


Great to see Schumacher back. It was a real shame how he was ushered from the race seat, and it's unfortunate the circumstances that lead to his return, but it's probably just that he gets a crack at it. For greatest F1 driver of all time, there's no question it's among Senna, Schumacher, Clark, and Fangio, and now we get to see one of them race against tomorrow's future legends in Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, et. al.

This is going to do some great things for Ferrari. It will motivate them to keep pushing forward on development of this year's car (not really sure why they wouldn't, anyways, as next year's aerodynamic regulations are the same), and having someone with his technical aptitude would surely help.

It would be absolutely astounding if he was to pull off a win, and I think we may just see it (along with one from possibly Kimi, as well, who surely will be motivated by this). I'm not particularly a Ferrari fan, but it would be a rather special site to see the Tifosi rush the circuit at Monza after another Schumacher win.


Wow, a grid with 4 world champions, with 11 world titles between them, that's gotta be some sort of record!

I was a little surprised that there wasn't any talk of Alonso being drafted into the vacant Ferrari before this news broke. But I suppose that might have been a bit messy, as I assume it would be nearly impossible to break Alonso's Renault contract mid season.

James, it will be interesting to see if Schumacher is willing and happy to leave F1 again once Massa has fully recovered and is ready to return to his car!


Maybe Schumi wanted to keep Alonso out? 😉


Good, I am glad to see he is back, and I was getting fed up with drivers that are so young they are three years out of school, there are plenty of drivers in thier 30's and 40's that are just as capable as the young drivers.

It doesnt seem fashionable at the moment to have an older driver in F1, as soon as they get to 35 its all "when are you going to retire then?"


If anything good could come out of the terrible accident with Felipe' then this is it. How unbelievably awesome will it be to see Michael in an F1 race again? I guess we'll see how good the Ferrari is now.

Doesn't matter how out of practice he is, you either can or you can't and Michael CAN!!!!!!!!!!!


I was dissapointed when Schumacher's manager came out and said he was 200% sure that he wouldnt race this year. My wishes that he was either wrong or bluffing have seemingly come true! What an amazing turn of events in an increasingly entertaining F1 season!

When asked why he took so long to get his first win, Mark Webber mentioned that many of his previous races featured Michael Schumacher. In a competitve car, now is his chance to make his mark against the bench mark himself. Even if that bench mark has been out of the game for a few years, the possibilities of some historic battles have my F1 glands salavating! M.Schumacher v The Rest...here we come!



I felt like a kid jumping out of my seat when I read this news.

The sport needs him, the fans need him, the champions need him and Massa needs him.

This is amazing, I couldn't believe my luck. This is one of the happiest days for me.

Sorry if I am acting like a kid.


I will be so impressed if MS destroys Kimi...

Kimi has had more hype then any other driver in the history of the sport...

And watching Hamilton vs Schumacher will be a dream come true...

I think he will do well - otherwise, he wouldn't have done it... MS is feeling confident...


RON: "Kimi has had more hype then any other driver in the history of the sport…"

That award has to go to Lewis though....


Well, a cynic might note that this is a great opportunity to get Räikkönen off the picture by the end of the year.

Just tweak the cars so that Räkä (~snot, finnish nickname for Räikkönen) has no chance of fairly competing with Schumacher => Alonso for Ferrari in 2010.

For that matter...Anyone who thinks Räikkönen would voluntarily swap for WRC in 2010 is out of their friggin' minds: WRC is the series that's been hit worst by FIA mismanagement.

This year there are two cars and 2-3 drivers that have a chance of competing fairly in any given rally. This by itself isn't that odd, however the lack of remotely level 'grid' is shown by the fact you have a chance of finishing in points even though you'd lose to race leader by over 10 minutes or so...which is the time needed to race few short (super) special stages: This is comparable to finishing in points even though you'd get lapped 4-5 times in F1.

Heck, Loeb got _*2*_ points even though he [b]RETIRED[/b] saturday and returned sunday because of SuperRally rules (he would have gotten 1 point but due to team order, he ended up with 2).

The sad fact is that WRC as it currently stands is one bad joke.

2011 maybe, because the rules change by then allowing more competitive 'grid', but in 2010...snowball's chance in hell. FYI they originally planned to adopt new rules for 2010 but the two factory teams didn't allow that...Sound familiar to you?

Also, there's a reason why I favour Vatanen for FIA presidency: The current F1 centric view is killing off the other disciplines.



Michael vs Kimi in a Ferrari!

Its going to be great to watch.


Whilst I am excited by his return, I will be upset if I will no longer be able to say that "I was present in china and witnessed schumachers last grand prix victory!"


Wow what a day!

BMW - good riddance

Schumacher - the best season for years has just got even more interesting. I bet Ross never thought he'd ever be racing against MS!


@ Micheal Balthazar.

I'd bet on a win at a wet Spa for Schumi.


I think it's great (despite being someone who barracked against him back in the day), but I think he'll struggle. I don't believe it will do his reputation any harm though.

I hope he can either push or beat Raikkonen. I like Kimi, but he seems like a waste of space in that seat at the moment. 2nd place at Hungary but beaten decisively by Hamilton in a head to head battle, as has always been the case even in 2007.


My God! I always respected Michael but never particularly liked him. This however is a dream come true!! Wow I am so pumped and what a challenge after being out of race conditions for so long. I predict a decent top five. Good on MS for all is downside on this gamble when you think about it and wow again I expect the tv ratings may be the highest of all time for it. F1 has been whacked this year.


James, many a time have I wished he'd give you a chance to tack on another chapter to that excellent biography of yours. Perhaps he knows that this swansong at 40, returning to the sport when a fallen teammate and the entire sport needs rejuvenation more than ever, would silence all debates once and for all.

Looking forward to what he does, and what you write. Start now and keep it fascinating; am sure he'll oblige with sensational stuff.


Who could write this twist? I think it's a good bet he may be a good help to develop next year's car if the rest of the season turns to an extended test session for Ferrari.

"Comebacks" hardly ever amount to much, but this one looks good.


It's kinda ferrari's marketing(political) strategy I guess. I believe that media and fans would give different reaction if it was Gene or Badoer who would step up for Massa. but I'm looking forward to see duels between those world champions.


This is fantastic news.

I never though we would see Michael back in F1, but now I can hardly wait for August 23rd.

I will be looking forward to the updated biography 😉


It's the 'Return of the King"!!!

Schumacher must have complete self belief in himself to drag himself out of retirmenet to show these "wannabe" what it takes to be a winning machine.

F1 is Schumacher Show once again!!


This will be a career deciding test for Kimi Raikkonen. If he can't consistently outperform someone who hasn't raced in F1 for almost 3 years, and has never driven this car or around the Valencia street track, I can't see Ferrari being keen on retaining him for 2010 when Alonso would be available.


Don't forget Schumacher has now been revealed as The Stig. I think that means he's not allowed to lose. 😉


Well, it was expected, i only wonder how he did so much time without F1...

The "king" is back, watch out kids in F1 cars...

Forza Schumi...


This is just awesome news about Michael! Being an Alonso fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the on-track battles that these two had during 2006 and while I was never happy about some of the stunts that Michael pulled, there's no denying the fact that his years away from the sport have somehow made him more likeable, but with the big question mark as to how well would the new wunderkinds hold up against him. I guess we're about to find out!

Thankfully, Sato isn't in the pack, but I only hope that Sutil and his ilk will not end up cutting short any of the races that Michael takes part in.


Great news- I'd love to be a fly-on-the-wall in post-session debriefs to see how/if Schumi & Kimi work together.


Oh my goodness me! 😉


Good news for a change.

Now that the danger aspect of the sport is back, one of the reason i started following f1, is good that the real racers are coming back, and the car sellers are leaving. We don't need them.


I'm a lifelong Schumacher fan, have read all the biogs and can't put into words how excited I am! It's clearly not a comeback in the same sense as Lauda etc and I don't expect him to win a race. Quite amusing if he won all of the remaining ones though!

It's clear though why they went for him, he will finish races in the points and Ferrari should secure third in the world championship. Gene and Badoer wouldn't.

James, if he doesn't stay for any further races who do you think would replace him until the end of the season? Villeneuve?


He's driving until Massa returns, according to Ferrari


I cannot wait for this. I don't dare hope that he beats Raikkonen in his first race, and I think we will see a new Kimi in Valencia.

All the way through the 2006 season there were commentators opining that Kimi and Alonso had overtaken MSC as a driver and he was no longer the best on the grid. I always took the fact that Kimi has been shaded by Massa at times and Hamilton being able to show so well against Alonso as a reason to reject this notion.

James, do you think that Michael can beat a fired up Kimi?


You never know with Michael. Three years is quit a long time out of the game, but he's an exceptional driver so we will have to see. Kimi is always brilliant at Spa, but I'd expect Michael's presence to put a bit of a rocket up him, so it should be great to watch


I think he will be faster than people think. In his prime he was the quickest driver I have seen in f1 for the 30 years I have been following the sport. At the age 40 I think even if he has lost around 4-5 tenths of a second he will be up there with the current leading drivers in terms of raw pace.

Yasser Almansour

I'm really worried that he won't perform as we expect and it will be the golden opportunity for all of those schumi haters.


I was very surprised by the news. Schumacher's a preparation junkie. Very little is left to chance, and what most people see as luck is often hard work and application.

It's therefore curious that he would attempt a race weekend with no time in this particular car, no time in a car of this configuration, during a season where the grid is incredibly competitive. That being said, if anyone could do it, Schumacher can.

Secondly, there's the issue of star quality. Ferrari are down in the dumps with an injured driver, and have looked a little lost recently. BMW have just quit. Alonso might be banned from Valencia (I still can't believe this would happen). What better to revitalise things than get a big-ticket name in?


I'm not a Michael Schumacher fan, but I respect him. He's one of the greats and this 'super sub' gig is incredible.

It's also, i.m.h.o., a sign of support to Massa. By picking MS, Massa will be sure to be able to come back to the Scuderia. If Ferrari had chosen a young gun, the message could have been "watch out Felipe, perhaps your substitute is better and we'll keep him".

Besides, we have now 4 world champions racing each other. When was last time that happened? 1999 (Hill, MS, Villeneuve, Häkkinen)? Now we have Schuey, Alonso, Kimi and Lewis. Great!
Sorry... forgot to say great post - can't wait to read your next one!


PR coup of the year.

He has nothing to lose - I don't think there will be any pressure on him at all. So long as he can post times within half a second of Kimi's, then he will have done well. If he struggles around 2 seconds off the pace, then it would look bad: but that isn't going to happen.

Scoring a single point would be remarkable enough, given all the circumstances.

They say he is going to stand in until Massa returns. So if Massa comes back in 2011, will we see Schumi and Alonso at Ferrari in 2010? That really would be a crowd pleaser.

Good on him for coming back to help the team out. His technical input from the cockpit will be priceless.

Big companies like BMW and Honda might be quitters, but one man has the strength and conviction to turn up. It is always the acts of individuals that matter. As an allegorical tale for the times we are in, this is a great fabled return.

I'm not a Schumi fan, but I admire him for having the temerity to step back into the ring.


I've just bought tickets for Monza on the back of this news, as its the only European weekend I can make - I'm sure I'm not the only one. I bet Bernie is rubbing his hands with glee.


At least the backers of the Valencia race will be a bit happier. This should drag a few more sectators to the place. There are two other European races as well which might get an increase in gate receipts. I wonder if Spa will build a few ore grandstands, just in case.

From a publicity point of view, it is a coup for Ferrari. I wonder how much it is costing them? Mind you, you won't be able to get within 100 yards of their pit or hospitality area for press and others.

From the pictures of him in Germany I thought he'd been at a few too many knockwursts and three weeks or so to get fighting fit is cutting it a bit fine.

Best of luck to him though. He's twice the age of some of them and will be getting a a car which has not been built for him and has been modified for a driver whose style is much different to his. The team is also virtually new. None of his old sidekicks are in charge.

I wonder if Kimi is secretely pleased. Whilst he should out-qualify and out-race any driver who has been out of an F1 cockpit for so long, let alone not raced under the new regs, if KR does manage to beat him convincingly it will add to the liklihood of not being bumped to a number 2 if another ex-world champion slots into Massa's car next season.

It's an odd decision though. Ferrari have nothing to win and MS has a bit to lose. Surely it can't be the money.

I would have bet against him returning.


Wow every world champion for the last 9 years in one race... 🙂


Most importantly - what is he being paid??? I wouldn't mind beting he will get more per grand prix than any other driver ever.


I'm sorry Red Kimi and Z but you obviously don't understand the "racer within". Schumi is the consummate professional, your concerns are mere trifles, minor details that will soon be consumed in the heat of his blazing slipstream.

Like a comet streaking across the night sky he will quickly conquer the gulf that may exist between his 2006 and 2009 F1 driving knowledge. He has been trackside at Fiorano and Mugello, he has sat on the prat perch next to the race engineers at many a race in the interval. He has debriefed with Felipe, Luca and Marc, discussed problems and strategies relevant to the new equipment and regulations. His racer brain and instincts will have absorbed all of this, his pre-conditioned motor neuron reflexes and muscle responses will quickly assimilate all of this with the hard data once he gets back behind the wheel of today’s beautiful machine…

The King is back! Godspeed to the wind beneath his wings. Godspeed to my King in Red. Godspeed to the Great One. All hail King Michael for he has returned to lift our cynical spirits. Forza Schumi!

Thankyou Michael, you've made my year without even turning a wheel, oh how much better can it yet get...


We should have known! Any time someone in F1 states something as 200% certain not to happen, it always does!


100% is when you are certain.

Any more and you should subtract the excess.

So if someone says 110%, take it as 90%.

On that basis, 200% is an excess of 100%.

200% => 100% - 100% => 0% => not certain at all.

Thats how I do it and interestingly enough, Sir Alan Sugar (of The Apprentice fame) has the same attitude. Only bullshitters say things like 110%.


This is epic news!. Monza is going to literarily be electric as the KERS cars are going to monster around that track and Schumi could definitely win. He will have to beat Kimi and Lewis to do it though, i can't wait!


I doubt KERS will work well there, barely any braking means barely any charging...


That's nonsense - there's masses of braking at Monza.


The first chicane is one of the biggest braking zones of the season. Doing over 200mph, slam the brakes, turn in, then use the KERS on the Exit. The second chicane is a decent braking zone too.

A KERS car will win monza, trust me.


willing to put your money where your mouth is?! It would be rather stunning to have a schumacher victory at monza I admit.


following massa's awful accident, this is the best thing that could possibly have happened after that!! schumachers last race at brazil to me felt like unfinished business as he was easily the class of the field. it will be so great to see him against kimi in the same car, and lewis, vettel etc.

i can't see that apart from getting 'race-fit' he is going to have any problems - i think he can still test last years car (maybe with low downforce and slicks?) to develop his fitness and get tuned back into F1 - after all it's still a quick racing car, it still has devestating brakes and acceleration, understeers and oversteers, and i have no doubt he's still a quick driver. am actually looking forward to valencia despite the complete dullness of the race last year and the fact that (at the moment at least) alonso will not be there


I cant believe this, its absolutley fantastic, i seriously cannot put to words how excited i am to see Michael back

Im looking into booking tickets to the Valencia race!


Oh come on guys can't you see that this is being done to give Ferrari some extra testing miles with someone who is a very good developer of cars. It's got nothing to do with wins but you might see the car having regular "problems" and having to go in and out of the pits a lot.

Or am I just too much of a cynic?


Hi James,

here's an idea for you - why not discuss the business aspect of Schumacher return?

In all fairness, the news that Michael is returning to the grid is maybe the best thing that happened in 2009.

My Facebook page is filled with people from around the world that are going to fly, from US to Italy, from India to Belgium - all in effort to see The Great One driving once more on legendary tracks.

The interest for F1 is now going to explode, with CNN, Telegraph, even New York Times featuring the return of Michael Schumacher as their lead stories on this passed Wednesday.

You probably have or can gain access to ticket pre-sales data for Valencia, Spa, Italy... theoretically, Felipe could return by Singapore [even though I would skip whole of 2009 and prepare for championship challenge in 2010], but the next three GPs should see a huge spark in sales. It would be interesting to see would that rejuvenated interest be is a spark or a wildfire.

Regards from your colleague [but from the tech/business side of journalism],



This is just what Valencia needed to get the tickets sold!


Here's hoping this is a rocket up Kimi's *rse and he rises to the challenge. Loved his (very) quick appearance in the Massa video 🙂


Fascinating that Schumacher is back.

It will be interesting to see how Raikkonen reacts.

Would I be right in saying that Raikkonen will be the strongest/best teammate Schumacher has ever had?

My understanding was that Schumacher retired because he did not want to take on Raikkonen. This talk about Schumacher not wanting to take Massa's seat in 2007 is a smokescreen. Outstanding world champions just do not think like that!

In hindsight I don't think Schumacher would have had any problems seeing off Raikkonen. However, throughout his career Schumacher never had a truly outstanding teammate.

It's too hard to predict who will come out on top. In Valencia, like Hungary, Ferrari should be closer to the front but Spa and Monza will surely see Red Bull returning to their recent dominant position. The main interest of Schumacher's return will be seeing how he measures up to Raikkonen. Massa generally has had the slight upperhand over Raikkonen in the last eighteen months or so but I believe that most consider Raikkonen to be more naturally gifted.


"Would I be right in saying that Raikkonen will be the strongest/best teammate Schumacher has ever had?"

Nelson Piquet wasn't bad.


Nelson Piquet was a difficult driver to assess. Prior to arriving at Williams he was considered the best driver in the world. In 1986, though, Nigel Mansell ended that theory. Despite winning the world championship in 1987 Piquet's reputation never really recovered (there were two wins for Benetton at the end of 1990 that helped a little bit). By the time Schumacher came on the scene at the end of 1991 Piquet was well past his best. The fact that he retired at the end of the season says it all.

Raikkonen will be Schumacher's toughest ever teammate provided he is motivated for the occasion.


Wasn't Schumacher consistently like 3/10ths faster than Massa when they were teammates? Massa has not been shown up by Raikkonen.


I'm not sure James reads this low down the list of comments but.... where does Schumacher stand with regards the engines rule in F1? If my memory serves me correctly it was done on a basis of 8 engines per driver per season? Does this mean Schumi can have a new engine at every race (which would potentially be worth a tenth at Spa and Monza!) ?? That may lessen a small aspect of the rather large disadvantage he has coming back to F1.


Looks like I should have spent more time looking on the FIA website first:

b) If a driver is replaced at any time during the Championship season his replacement will be deemed to be the original driver for the purposes of assessing engine usage.

Oh well...


I'll bet Kimi is spewing. 🙂


hahhaha, Anyone else got the image that when Kimi heard the news that Schumacher was coming back, he Spat out his VODKA, Dropped his Choc Ice, and HIT THE GYM HARD?



I'm not a ferrari or schumacher fan (although I respect his genius!). I'm living in Australia and considering getting on a plane to Valencia to see him against Hamilton, Weber, Button and Vettel... Hopefully Renault will be racing and Alonso will also be on the grid too!



I hope he beats em all! Well apart from jenson obviously and maybe lewis. Not a fan of his but a fan of his skill and achievement


2009 has been such a season of diversion, I believe Michael filling in for Felipe creates some renewed interest in the racing. If for some reason, Felipe cannot resume his carear . . . hmmm, Michael & Fernando 2010???


I was never a Schumacher fan - until he quit F1 and proceded to "slowdown" in his retirement by taking up motorcycle racing, the arena of the truly heroic in motorsports. To me that established his absolute depth as a competitor, an enthusiast and a very brave individual. I am delighted to see his reappearance in the cockpit of an F1 car and wish him every success - with this small nagging concern. In life one can only dance on a highwire for so long. I can't help thinking of Mark Donahue and will have my fingers crossed throughout his return that he doesn't get hurt.


Before everyone gets too carried away reading the Autosport website it would appear that Massa is making a very good recovery and actually wants to race in Valencia.


can you shed any light on this one? You would think that the Schumacher scenario has gone too far down the road for it to be reversed now. Being that Belgium is only a week later if Schumacher races in Valencia he will probably race here as well.

Could Massa return at Monza?


I would be surprised if massa returns quickly. When drivers have a large impact in a crash, they usually arent allowed to drive the next day. Whereas massa obviously would be in much more danger if he crashed again. I think it will take months personally


With a bad concussion you are not allowed to put yourself at any risk of another serious blow to the head. Another minor concussion following shortly after a really bad one would result in death or brain damage. The doctors will not allow Massa to race in Valencia. Safe bet is probably for the rest of the season.

Kubica was mildy concussed after his accident and was prevented from racing in two weeks. Massa was badly concussed.


What IS interesting is that saving some sort of disaster at Brawn and Red Bull neither Shuey or Hamilton can win the championship, so it will just be individual races.

Only time will tell whether Shuey will get up to his old tricks while he hides behind the skirt of the FIA who have always turned a blind eye to his antics.

Can't wait to see them race!

Really feel bad for Massa, he was a good sportsman and I hope he is back for 2010 with Alonso.


I just don't get it...and I am a huge fan of Shu.... Nothing to gain and everything to lose IMO. Can only kill his super hero status unless he starts killing each race by winning.... and that's not likely to happen with the red car & team as they exist right now.... not to mention it has to take even Shu some time to get to grips with the fitness and new cars... with little testing that is problematic (unless they have a way of side-stepping the "testing" by running an old car around their track to get him up to strength & form a bit)...

Can you image Monza now though... Wow....


Thats very good news for formula 1 with all the issues and everything thats been going on for last few months.

It will be very interesting to see how it works out,with no testing allowed and Michael has hardly done any laps in the race car.its a big challenge for him with new regulations ,car which might not be suitable to him..and mostly the old dream team with whom he has worked with no longer there...he is pretty brave to pick up this challenge...

hoping he is fit enough and blows everyone away!!!


Mathematically if Schumacher wins every remaining race can he win the championship?


yes, but don't bet your house on that scenario, it's not going to happen.


Only if Jenson scored no more points. If Schu won them all he would have 7 wins to Jenson's 6 so would win on count back.

This assumes, of course, that Webber or Vettel don't overtake Jenson in this scenario!


If Schumacher wins every single race and Button does not score (or Webber, Vettel or Barrichello in that respect) in any of the races then yes. Schumacher would be champion. He is 70 point behind with 70 points available but he would have seven wins to Button's 6 making him champion. I would love to see Schuey get a nice string of victories with Hamilton close behind and maybe Kimi up there too taking points off Red Bull allowing Jenson to win the WDC.


Fortunately I live within 1/2 hour of Valencia so I shall pop down to see the ensuing carnage. It's not a great track, but hey, just shut your eyes & listen 🙂

On the cynical side, do I detect the 'Hand of Bernie' in there someplace ? A perfect PR coup for him. Valencia was not well attended last year, probably due to the ticket pricing & admissions policy (seating only, no general admission though there is this year) etc, and they needed a good boost.

Schumi ? Good, definitely. That good ? He's a driver, not a god. Yes he mellowed, but I will never forget some of his more cynical driving acts. And where is Ross Brawn now - how much of the speed & tactics were down to him ?

I think he'll struggle for two reasons. Qualifying - you can get away without the stamina in your fitness, but he will have little experience of the car to get that extra 10t of a second. Race - he just can't get the stamina built up in 4 weeks to match that of the current drivers. A few hours in the gym ? Probably 8 hours a day for starters I would imagine. But Ferrari want team points, and over a few races, he may give the best chance of delivering.

Whatever the outcome, I can't wait til the flag drops and the BS stops 🙂


Schumacher is currently F1's greatest cheat. He is also probably F1’s most over rated driver. As a man with a Ferrari FIA veto behind him (that was just revealed during the FOTA row for those of you not taking notice) , secret traction control while with Ferrari for several years, a team mate who was not allowed to challenge him, the most reliable car on the grid (check the stats – his car simply never broke down), by far the best car on the grid for every year he won the championship, access to all the latest Ferrari bits, oh… and Ross Brawns help, how could he fail?????

The man had every single area covered, and just to make sure he had a contract with it all legally nailed down. This was not sport, it was entertainment for the mindless, partially sighted hero worshipping would be F1 experts who prefer to cheer on the winner (even if the rest of the field are driving milk floats in comparison). It is so painfully predictable that so many people find this exciting it is actually positively depressing.

Many said “Schumacher could win in a Minardi” Well, suddenly along came Alonso in a decent Renault during 2005 and 2006, and Schumacher could not win in his custom made Ferrari. Why? because suddenly he didn’t have the best car on the grid. Face it you can’t win in F1 without the best car.

Anyway, all of this is obvious. All you need is about 35 years experience watching F1 and reasonable intelligence. Oh, did I forget to say he was a massive cheat.

Monaco 2006. Priceless.


The veto was agreed in the 2005 contact that Ferrari signed. when the rest refused to sign and tried to form a breakaway series. the other manufacturers never signed in the end. So I dont see how the veto could have helped schumacher win a world championship. And dont forget all the changes the FIA made to actually stop Ferrari from winning. The various qualifying formats through out the years and the banning of tyre changes and the new points system. all designed to bring the other teams closer on the track and in the championship. Also like sam said there are many instances where Micheal was great in a car which wasnt the best on the grid. So get your facts right. Schumacher might have commited some questionable moves but they were either legal like ausrtia 2002, (team orders were allowed then) or he has paid the price like being disqualified for the 1997 season.


Excuse me? Did you see Barcelona 96 where MS lapped 4 seconds faster then anyone? And that Ferrari was no where near the best car.

If my memory serves correctly, traction control was banned after 95. Here are a few more reminders for you.

-Belgium 1992 - rain, won comfortably with nearly 40 seconds

-Belgium 1995 - rain, started 16th, won with a comfortable 20 second lead.

-Monaco 1997 - rain, started 2nd, made the best lap first lap in history (led with 6,6 seconds). Then lapped 4 seconds faster than anyone else, won with a minute, having gone as slowly as possible on his last lap so he wouldn't have to do another lap (2 hours limit).

-Belgium 1997 - heavy rain at the start, when safety car left, he overtook both Alesi and Villeneuve on the same lap, quickly pulled away (6 laps, +40 sec), soon lead with over a minute, but slowed down to "only" win with a half minute lead.

-Belgium 1998 - lead with over half a minute when Coulthard took him out.

And Ferrari were not the best car in 90s. Now get your facts right before you make ill comments


Agree 100%. I remember Schumacher as a man, who destroyed F1 for me with Ferrari as a team. Kimi being my favourite driver, I just can't cheer for him at the moment, when he drives for Ferrari. I can never forgive what Schumacher did in Austria, US and Monaco GP. With these moves he just killed F1 for me and all this FIArrari relationship, when there was rules for ferrari and rules for the others, was not in my liking.


The Gift Of Time...

Remember folks, he did come back from that broken leg, and on crushing form. I hope he wins every remaining race this season. Unfortunately, Indy doesn't have that Fall slot anymore, or I would be there NOW to get tickets and see him repeat his success there.

Then again, now that he's back in the water... Let's see. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro... Marlboro Team Penske, the most storied teams in their respective domains, with (backdoor) corporate kinship.... A one-off shot at the Indy 500 next May? Please.


7 races for Ferrari and then reunite with Ross Brawn at Brawn GP for a couple of years?? ;-))

I can't believe how much I'm looking forward to Michael racing again and whilst being highly respective of his achievements never took to him as a person. The talk of the more relaxed guy away from the circuits etc. etc. was just a myth, maybe he'll get to show a bit more of this side of his character this time around?


"By far the best car on the grid for every year he won the championship..."

I seem to remember in 1995 that the Williams Renault was widely regarded as being superior to Schumacher's championship winning Benetton...


If Red Bull was forced to feed Alguesuari straight into the deep end of the pool without testing, Michael should get the same treatment. Ferrari circulating the teams looking for a gentlemans agreement to allow him to test shows me how little moral character remains with the red cars. Shame on them.....

Mount Vernon, Washington. USA.


When did Michael last race without traction control?

Valencia: Fuel him light, give him pole, and see if anyone can get past:)

...can't wait.


There's this brilliant Joke going round on the internet about Ferrari's new "Upgrade" 😀

Here it is...

Valencia ..

Friday press Conference.. with Brawn, Mclaren, and Ferrari.

Q: So what upgrades have you brought for this weekend?

Ross: New Aero Package

Martin W: New rear wing and front suspension.

Stefano: Michael Schumacher



I always knew he'd make a comeback some day!!! F1 Racing is in his blood. Michael is a legend and he will do all he can to help Ferrari's dismal start to 2009 finish on a high!

And, I sincerely hope FIA will not get side-tracked and keep investigating Massa's incident.

Even IF (F1 spelt backwards, as Murray used to say), he wins all the races, he still won't quite match Rossi's record of 100 Grand Prix wins! But, he won't care, will he!

Go Schumi!

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