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Reports suggest that Schumacher Mercedes deal is now signed
Reports suggest that Schumacher Mercedes deal is now signed
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Dec 2009   |  12:54 am GMT  |  223 comments

Tonight Bild newspaper in Germany is reporting that Michael Schumacher has cleared the final hurdle in his quest to return to Formula 1 after three seasons of retirement and has signed a one year deal with Mercedes. Bild is a favourite place for both Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber and for Mercedes to leak stories.


Although the Mercedes GP team is run by Ross Brawn, the pairing of Schumacher and Nico Rosberg in their Silver Arrows will make it Team Deutschland, as Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche alluded to the other day.

Schumacher’s doctor gave the all clear for him to race after examining his neck, which he injured in a bike accident earlier this year. According to Bild he will be paid just £6 million next season, the kind of money he was on back in the mid 1990s at Benetton.

“As one door closes, another opens up” Ross Brawn said recently after Jenson Button’s move to the McLaren team. Brawn’s plan B, if it is officially confirmed, is a stunning move for the team and for Formula 1. Schumacher quit F1 at the very top in 2006, after winning seven world championships and 91 Grands Prix. He was tired, troubled with back pain which he kept quiet, and had been unable to give Ferrari management a commitment to race on, so they hired Kimi Raikkonen to replace him. To carry on would have put his friend and team mate Felipe Massa out of a job and so he gave that as one of the main reasons for stopping.

But in retirement he has seemed bored and listless; the thrill of a life lived on the edge could not be replaced with a few amateur motorbike races and despite the improbable odds of coming back at the age of 41 as he will be in January, he is taking a leaf out of Lance Armstrong’s book and coming back to take on the new generation.

The difference between his challenge and Armstrong’s is that the Tour de France is just as physically hard as ever, whereas F1 is easier on drivers than it used to be as there is no in season testing, so it’s three pre-season tests in Spain then 19 Grands Prix weekends and that’s it.

In the early 2000s, Ferrari had an annual testing budget, largely from Bridgestone, of $25 million and that meant Schumacher used to do a phenomenal testing mileage. He did less in the final years, but still was out regularly, which he will not have to do now.

He will have his greatest ally alongside him in Ross Brawn, the engineer who helped him to all of his world titles. But he faces stiffer opposition than he ever did in his first career; Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa are both known quantities to him and Alonso is now in his prime. But he has no experience of racing against Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel in F1 cars.

As one ex F1 driver put it to me last week, “I don’t care if he is Michael Schumacher, when he’s wheel to wheel against Hamilton into a corner his brain is going to say, ‘I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here. ‘ It’s human nature and you cannot fight against it.”

Racers have fire in their belly and when that fire goes out they stop. Schumacher, like Nigel Mansell, did not stop because the fire had gone out, but because the circumstances said he should.

Schumacher’s motto was always that you get out of the sport what you put in and he put in everything. He also never gave anything away to the opposition, not even a sniff of a chance.

And that is the most interesting aspect for me of this extraordinary comeback. It’s not about whether he is still as fast as ever, he has always had pace to burn. It’s about whether that unquenchable thirst for competition, that ruthlessness, which saw him give no quarter against his own brother the day after their mother died, will still be there.

For Formula 1 this is another superb piece of news and it will make 2010 an absolute must-watch season.

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Slick tyres, limits on electronics, no refuelling and less aero grip: remind anyone of the early 1990's? As you say, with testing limits things are working in Schumacher's favour and he surley has a chance at the title if mecedes provide a fast and reliable car for him to use.


less aero than this year..?


Less than 2008. In retrospect that part of the comment makes little sense


I'm so happy that I'm crying. 🙂


I'm really looking forward to this.

I was so disappointed when he retired in 2006. That drive in the last race was bonkers and brilliant.

I didn't start appreciating Schumacher's genius until later in his career. So even if it is just one season back, it will be a fitting swansong to a legend - stunts, questionable tactics and all!


Awesome news. If we thought 2009 was interesting, 2010 is about to get even better.


Yes I second that!

Also I'll tell you what, MS won't lift regardless who he is wheel to wheel with. He has the killer instinct.

I think the other guys will be ore in awe of him.


When i heard this i was walking around the house grinning ear to ear- and i used to be a Hakkinen fan, but Im really glad Schumachers back!! (and yes i did used to dislike him, until i read Edge of Greatness)

This Bild lot seem to break a lot of stuff, im going to have to sharpen up on my german- it seems Arbecht Macht Frei (which i learnt from a picture on the BBC site), Eins (i did listen OCCASIONALLY in german lessons!) and Ich Bin Berliner (i think that how it was) learnt from a JFK speech isnt enough.

What languages are you fluent in James?


Are you a German sausage? 🙂


thankyou god.


So it's finally confirmed Eddie Jordan was Right! Question for you James. Do you think that Merc GP would not sign Jenson until Schumi said yes or no on a comeback which could of left Jenson without a drive! Jenson was perhaps aware of this which explains his amazing decision to leave Brawn and join Lewis. I think this all stacks up???


EJ was right, the story of rumours was just that, a suggestion. EJ stuck his neck out and said it would happen, many (including those in the media)laughed and pointed and now they look silly.

Christopher Snowdon

Like I said above it was a guess, honestly what insight do you think EJ had on Shumacher, his sponsors and Ferrari's potential position on things (who held a contract with him for a consultancy role I believe), as well as his physical medical state. I don't think Mercedes, Ross, Ferrari or Shumacher himself knew what the potential position could be, but apparently EJ knew the answer to all this? There's probably a thousand one questions / situations on top of this to, that all needed clearing up.

As far as I'm aware EJ wasn't brokering this deal or have anything to do with it, James maybe you've heard something to say he was the mastermind behind all!


Not quite. What ever Jordan knew, Buttons management knew as well and the possibility of being at Mercedes for any length of time looked remote. The option of a high paid, 3 year deal in a McLaren then looks extremely attractive, even if you are going up against the biggest talent on the grid.

Anyone who bought into Button wanting a greater challenge, better get on Eddie Jordans couch. That may be what he is left with, but only coming about once Button became aware of Mercedes looking at alternatives.


Not quite - the story was broken by Kevin Garside who wrote it in the Telegraph. EJ was asked by BBC to comment on that story, That's how it came about.


Well what was and is clear Brawn didn't want Jenson enough did he ❓

Christopher Snowdon

And it was a 50/50 guess, EJ didn't know whether he would pass the medical neck test for one.


Though the BBC continues to peddle the misleading line that the comeback was "predicted by Eddie Jordan".


Awesome, I'm glad he's back.

Re: "I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here". Given a winning car, lifting and taking the points rather than stuffing it may just win him the championship. Since he retired none of the championships have been won convincingly, without mistakes. During '07, '08 and '09 the championship contenders continually took themselves out of races on their own.

If Rosberg is world class he should learn a lot from Schumacher during this year. Just look at what it did to Massa. If it becomes a multiyear deal then better talk to Barrichello about that. haha.

Is Henkel kicking itself now that it doesn't have a sponsorship deal with Mercedes GP?


Not sure about "During ‘07, ‘08 and ‘09 the championship contenders continually took themselves out of races on their own."

JB may have had a bit of a performance drop in the latter part of the season, but he scored points in every race except the one where Grosjean took him off the track - that doesn't really equate to "continually took themselves out of races on their own."


If (and it's a hige if) Rosberg is world class he'll surely beat the 41 year old ❗


I agree. If his car is good enough he can challenge for the title; besides, even if you think that he will be lifting off in wheel-to-wheel situations against younger contenders, which I don't believe for a second, such situations are few and far between nowadays, especially at the front.


Wow! I've been for you to confirm this and it looks like we're getting close! Next year is going to be great. A very Merry Christmas too James, cheers for the updates this year too! Treat yourself to a sherry.


James, you just said it all.

After many years following F1, I find it best and most rewarding not to have too many partisan hopes (ultimately impossible, of course!), so admittedly as a sceptic of this ever happening, I look forward with great interest and huge excitement.

My only genuine and unmitigating hope is that a (flawed) legend is not damaged but my instinct is that it won't be.


Not a surprise, what will be a surprise is if he wins the WDC this coming year. I don't see him doing it. 41 year old men don't compete with 21 year old men in Marathon's for a reason, their bodies can't recover as fast as they used to and even though I have always liked Schuey, well in my opinion this is going to put a little tarnish on his gold plated career. He left at the right time, when Nando has his number and these days, well I can see Hamilton, Vettel, Nando, Massa, Webber and many others who will make his life a real challenge on the track. Best of luck to the grand champ!


like michael jordan when he joined the washington wizards, this is destined to fail


Interesting. He left F1 with everyone thinking he was at the top of his game. I wonder if really this is going to be a good thing for Schumacher, or is this year just going to be a chapter in racing that should have never been written?

*Stands back from the internet as all of the fanboys run in and scream*


Mmmm. I'm a fanboy but I tend to agree with you. This looks like a big mistake if it's true.

To be honest, at his so-called prime in the last season, he still made weird errors and did a couple of stupid things to me that were not in his 'genius racer' make-up.

Now that he's heavily out of practice, mentally and physically, it's going to be a disaster. I really hope not, but you can't help but feel most of his success was gained by using his brain, not emotionally driven like this looks to be. Although he HAS had plenty of time to think about it. We must just remember that he wasn't outright fastest, and never all the time.

Ugh, I hope he does well. Luca Badoer's image will never recover, the same fate might await...


James, given Schumacher's role at Ferrari in recent times, would it be correct to assume that he heads to Mercedes GP armed with sensitive info regarding the Maranello squad's 2010 challenger?


To some extent, yes. But I imagine Ross has his own sources of information too



And Jenson Button will be going to Mclaren with some sensitive information as well.

This is to say thta information travels around in F1.

No fine, even to the extent of 100 million can prevent that.

I think it will take a few races for Schumacher to reach top form. Lance Amstrong had a few races to get back to form before coming to the Tour de France and you don't have mountain races (which are the most demanding) from the very first day. By the way, do you think James that Schumacher could benefit from the new rule that allows rookies to test for 1 day as he hasn't raced for 3 years?


I thought that rookie thing was just for mid-season recruits?


You'd think that knowledge has probably extended to some detailed discussion with Ross Brawn about the relative merits of the Mercedes package to the Ferrari one. I don't believe that he'd be coming back if he didn't think that the Mercedes + him is going to be at least the equal of Ferrari + Alonso.

And surely Mercedes will gleaned some off the record info about what their partner's at McLaren have in prospect for 2010....

Add to that he will not have lost an ounce of form or hunger - I suspect it will be even stronger now. 41 is nothing.

I was never a fan of his after what happened with Damon, but it's gonna be outstanding to see Schumacher on the grid alongside Hamilton.

It's gonna be extremely open and hard to predict, but at a guess, but I reckon it'll end up being between those two, and maybe Vettel if Newey pulls out another gem this year.


Too good to be true?

As the BBC article suggest, you can't imagine MS would want to cause further embarrass for himself but until he makes the grid for the Bahrain GP I'm not holding my breath...

I still hold my line that it will be fascinating watching him line up against Hamilton and Vettel.


I think this news is an early christmas present to all Formula One fans. Schumi against the likes of Massa, Alonso, Vettel and more importantly Hamilton would be very interesting. Id also like to see how Rosberg gets on alongside his country man, not just on pure pace but how he deals with a lot of attention on his teammates side of the garage. I hope this year Nico fights his side and is the measure of a high caliber Formula One driver.


Extraordinary news indeed

Nico Rosberg V M Schumacher will be interesting


For who ❓

Verses Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Button and Massa yes but Rosberg - I don't think so 🙂


Apparently the contract was signed in Brackley.

Did any reporter manage to see Schumacher around there last night?


WooHoo!!!! )))

This is sure going to be the best season in a long time!


The stage is set for an unforgetable 2010. Who will be the victor? Mercedes, Mclaren, Ferrari, or Red Bull?



Cant wait till the season starts.


Michael has absolutely nothing to lose, but I am sure he will give his best as this is his final shot at F1 racing. At 41, no-one is expecting him to challenge for the title, but should he win races or be in contention, this will put quite some pressure on the opposition. I think anyone between Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher can win the title but it will all depend how competitive a car they get with the rule changes. Reliability will be more important than ever with the new scoring system, and this is not the best news for Vettel's chances. McLaren showed in 2009 that they were not the best with aerodynamic changes. Ferrari were rubbish all along except for one race and Brawn faded over the season and have a new driver line-up. So all the favourites go in the new season with weaknesses and I hope we will see more winners than in 2009. Can't wait for the action to begin!


Ferrari and Mclaren have dealt with more aerodynamic changes than any other teams in F1 history and yet the most successful.

They were on the backfoot because they started their program on the 2009 car very late due to the battle they had the previous year.

But coming from 2 seconds off the pace at the satrt of the season to being a winning team round mid season says a lot about Mclaren resiliance for instance.


Yes, Ferrari and McLaren get things right over time because of their talented people and their big financial muscles. As far as I know from the 90s, Ferrari or McLaren never went from a totally rubbish car to a title-winning one in one year to the next. They went from a rubbish car to a race-winning car, then to a title-winning one. It happened over more than a year. McLaren did fantastically well to recover this year, but Red Bull and Brawn got the better of the new changes really quickly. Maybe it's a good thing that teams fighting for championships are not the same every year, and teams get the dilemma of improving the current car or next year's. This will happen as long as there are significant changes from one year to the next, otherwise Ferrari and McLaren will always end up winning.


This is good news, all we need now is HD.


that's a good point and one I'd forgotten about...

James, F1 Racing ran a piece a few months back saying that the Abu Dhabi GP would be broadcast as a test race, the issue with the car-mounted cameras not being able to transmit an HD signal apparently having been resolved.

Any chance you could turn your investigative skills towards finiding out if F1 will be available in HD in the UK from 2010?

Top blog and Merry Christmas to all in the Allen household.


it will be a very interesting return to the top level in motorsport, now the pressure is on mercedes and brawn to deliver a frontrunning chassis, engine combination, and still stay within the financial limitations, the prospect of MS battling with the likes of Vettel, Webber, Button, Hamilton, Alonso, and more makes for a fascinating upcoming season indeed!!


Let me say, I'm not the greatest of schumi fans but, as a genuine fan of the sport for as long as I can remember in life, I have to admire him for for what he has and does do. Race. Sometimes fairly. Sometimes not. What ever your swing on that, all the 'greats' have their bad bits. They all done things I'm sure they've regretted. That doesn't take away the genius does it. Now at 1st I wasn't really that interested in whether he came back or not. Next year looks exciting already. But now, well, he done pretty well at race of champions didn't he. That little kart race Massa put on that included various famous names from several catogories of motorsport, and he overtook most of 'em to wave Massa home. He'll be bang on pace. Straight away. That I'm sure. So.... I'm interested. Interested to see what will happen when he comes wheel to wheel with a Ferrari or a Mclaren. I don't believe for a second he'll do anything other than he has ever done. Fight like crazy to keep his position. Like all drivers should. It's kinda like Take That. Their much better 2nd time round. And more likeable. If it's close next season, which I thinking it could be, we're in for a stonker.


Fantastic news.

No true F1 fan could be disappointed.


This would be the best XMas present any F1 fan could hope for... there is no one, except Hamilton, who can drive a car on the edge like like Michael...

It's been a few years since I've really wanted to watch F1... the last few have been a borefest of political sabotage... Hamilton should have 3 WDCs already...


Great news for you James, there aren't many people with more knowledge of Schumi than you. I just hope this blog remains as impartial as it has for the past year, although I imagine you know what happens from the experience with Hamilton fever at ITV. That's not to say we wouldn't like some additional insight if it's available ;).

I still cant believe they pulled this off, do you think Merc would of had a chance without Ross on board?


Of course it will. I'll do my best to provide insight, where I can


(As one ex F1 driver put it to me last week, “I don’t care if he is Michael Schumacher, when he’s wheel to wheel against Hamilton into a corner his brain is going to say, ‘I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here. ‘ It’s human nature and you cannot fight against it.”)

I bet that comment was by a whining Mclaren 'looser' engineer.

All the more reason why Schumacher must rub that whining team and their whining engineers plus their whining drivers in their faces. 😀


That comment was from Eddie Irvine.

I don't remember him working for Mclaren or training to become engineer.

This is the type of comments that should not be here.


I wouldn't bet too much, seeing as you've even quoted the bit that says "ex F1 driver"


might have been Eddie Irvine..


Not a Mclaren ex driver!

It was Eddie Irvine as far as I am aware


I suspect it wsa Eddie Irvine, I've seen a similar quote attributed to him elsewhere.

Your hatred of McLaren and Hamilton is incredibly tedious Maria. I love Alonso, but their relationship break down was clearly not just the fault of one side.


Tedious for you because you are his fan? That's terrible for you 😀


Errr...where did I say I was a Hamilton or McLaren fan in that statement?

Nowhere, that's where.

The tedium comes from you going on about the same thing over and over again. Even if you were trashing bankers/politicians/murderers, to do it in every post would become annoying.


Yes please give it a rest.


It sounds more like Irvine. What a sore loser 😉


Actually Eddie Irvine said pretty much the same thing on BBC, but otherwise he thought that Michael would have a successful comeback if the car turned out to be a winner.


I am genius - here me roar.



Genuine lol!


With Schumacher signing, it puts the icing on the cake in the preamble to the 2010 season - new teams, new drivers, drivers changing, all points to what must be one of the hardest to predict seasons for years. Ferrari & Mercedes must be feeling confident though...


Now we are talking.

If Ross can make Button a champion this pairing is about to rock the pitlane once again.

...but I am not buying any new MB gear Schumi - I got too much of that red stuff already.


I've been trying to work out in my head how this is going to go for Schu. I still have almost no idea but I look forward to finding out.

As you say, the class of this field at the top is exceptional.

I disagree that he'd lift off against Hamilton. Schu doesn't seem intimidated by egos.


This is extrodinary news which will provide an entertaining season. Just think about the "Team Germany" vs. "Team England" vs. "Red Bull Athletes™" vs. "Team Latin (Alonso and Massa" The nationalistic dynamic is going to make for a compelling story between the two British champions especially - as both of them have something to prove in racing each other and also Schumacher. We'll see everyones true colors as racing drivers and team players.

Adding Schumacher to this situation is like adding Robert Downey to a movie casting. Now, the sport gonna get interesting with a no-holds barred professional the F1 game is played.

It's gonna be a thriller.


Team Germany ❓ Remind me where are the cars made ❓ What's the nationality of the management ❓

Toyota were more like team Germany and look what they achieved ❗


Where are the cars made? I don't think it really matters in a global economy... It's all about the attitudes and nationalistic pride that Button, Hammy, Schu and Rosberg have. They wanna win but it makes it even better when they beat their superteam counterparts.


I beg to differ, it matter a great deal where the car's made. The only F1 team to have enjoyed real success that doesn't manufacture their car in the UK is Ferrari, no other ❗


Fantastic and it will not do any harm to the viewing figures in Germany and the value of that TV contract..


But let's not forget that it is 80% up to the car. He could be languishing behind front running teams and come end of the season we might be discussing how he beat Nico by such-and-such in qualy and by such-and-such in races, and that's it.


At the end of the day it doesn't matter who drives the cars if we get too many race like the last people will stop watching.

Too many races are just too boring and a waste of time and this is written by a die hard F1 fan of over 30 years ❗


A much needed windfall for Hockenheim as well?


Must watch is right. Ignoring the great teammate battles these guys will have, any of them could snatch the title and we haven't even included any wildcard teams!










Now you're being silly ❗

Webber and Rosberg in the same league as Alonso and Hamilton, I don't think so 😆


Great news for F1, fascinating to see him lock horns with Hamilton especially,

Although as a lifelong Ferrari supporter extrememly sad to see him break ties with the team that he brought back to prominence

It will be espesically hard to see him not racing the Glorious Red Ferrari and racing the drab Silver Mercedes


My money's on Hamilton, I hope he stamps his intention from the very first time they meet on track.

The truth is time waits for nobody no matter who they are.

Being a former competition Hanglider Pilot and having two near fatal crashes when younger I know that my body simply wouldn't bounce in the same way today. Time waits for no one ❗


Why is the spotlight on Schumi vs Hamilton? There are plenty other drivers on the grid who he's going to probably lock horns with. I'd say if he's off the pace a bit, I'm keen for a Schumi vs Kobayashi 😀

Kimi, Kimi, where art thou...

I hope Lewis becomes even more bald after 2010.


The Brawn will be fast, so you'd have think Schumacher has a great chance of being champion, he certainly isn't coming back to lose. Hard to see Rosberg being a match for him.

Hopefully Redbull will keep the Brawn honest, suppose this depends on Renault get a parity increase with their engine and the next Newey design being really, really good.


I think that this determination just proves for once and all to all his critics what a true racer Michael is. He's coming back to race. Win or lose, he'll be giving 100% and that's why we should all be thrilled and appreciate once more this man's amazing skills. Superb news.


We'll see when he's up against a competitive hungry Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso ❗

Who will lift if he goes into a corner with Massa ❓ (I suspect Massa would).

Every driver on the grid will be out to prove they are at least as good as a 41 year old 🙂


The news just keeps getting better and better...

The last two years in F1 have been pretty darn exciting. But 2010 is shaping up to be one of the best ever!

Please let the cars be as close as possible in performance, because the driver match-ups are phenomenal!


Hear Hear Ted the Mechanic - i'm really looking forward to MS returning, but i'd hate to see a white wash!


This is making the 2010 season a must watch for any sports loving person. It will be interesting to see how fast Schumi is against the 'new' generation. Can't wait.


hi james, i'm sure Schumacher's comeback a huge boost for F1. But being a ferrari son for such a long time what sort of big changes is he expecting? And for him to able to compete against the young guns what's the chance for FIA to allow him to test as a rookie?


"As one door closes, another opens up" Ross Brawn said recently.

No it doesn't. Not unless the two doors are connected by relays or there are motion sensors involved. Or if the first door closing creates a change of air pressure that acts upon the second door.


another commenter on this blog watches "the big bang theory". nice 😉


Why don't the nerds ever get the girl?


I thought of asking my (beach babe South African) girlfriend, but then I realised that your premise was flawed.


Because they are fruit-cakes?


...Cabaret, a funeral parlour, Popular Mechanics, as Ron Dennis's spin doctor...

What sort of cakes you been eating?


Special ones made by Mosley.


You should work in cabaret..


So. Freakin'. Excited.


James do you think Chris Dyer will follow Michael to Mercedes GP?

Schumacher has a history of taking along with him his "A" team when he moved from Benetton to Ferrari.

I'm positive Schumacher isnt just returning to get a high, but its his immense self belief that he still is the top dog out there!!


This will be a dilemma for the Tifosi come the Italian Grand Prix!


Apparently it won't. If you believe Montezemolo, Ferrari fans have been calling Michael a traitor ever since it became clear that he would sign with Mercedes.


James, hi i am leaving this comment for the first time on ur site even though I've been regular here since April 09. I am curious to know what'll be the position of Nico Rosberg once Schu is officially signed. Dunno if he'll be No.2 or there'll be driver equality. I mean Schu is something special but I'm surprised to expert or pundit has thrown light on this interesting aspect. Looking to hear from u on this ..



OK... I will have to adjust to seeing him in a boring grey uniform!

Forza Schuey! Forza Alonso! Let the games begin..........!


This is AMAZING news,I'm so excited about 2010, the past few seasons (2009) in particular have had their issues, but this kind of news just puts back the 1% faith I lost in F1 during 2009.

I admire MS so much, I can't see it being a disaster like many say, the worse that happens is he's mid field, but again I can't see that happening, even if he is, I'm sure we are going to see some ferocious determination and battles, and if it's raining.....oh boy I can't wait!

I am a big MS fan, and when he left and Lewis came in, I naturally moved that support right over to Lewis. Lewis is shades of Schumacher, I can see that exact same mindset, determination, win at all costs mentality. They are not cheats, but in a situation, with a split second decision, to win they will take steps that favour them, which to their competition appears like cheating, it's not, cheating is when it's premeditated like the Renault situation

My point is, to see these 2 guys going head to head, with Alonso in the ferrari, and with all 3 guys having very strong team mates ie Massa, Button and Rosberg, this year is surely going to be one heck of a ride.

And will JV be back too.....?

some one said that because Schumacher is 41 and Lewis is 24 and that he will naturally want to lift off in a corner.... I don't believe that for a second, (normal people yes, but these 2 aren't normal) and I am 100% sure Lewis will not be intimidated at all by Schumacher as they are prob both as arrogant as each other!

Well, this has to be the best news of 2009, and even if MS doesn't do as well as his career, I think he has done enough in the past to prove he is one of the best, and has the balls to come back - good on him, what ever the outcome I for one won't be disappointed, and my view on him with his career wil not change in the slightest. His reputation will not be harmed at all!


ps sorry for rabbiting on, im just so excited!


Am i the only person that is completely unimpressed with this prospect?

If he is dominant like before then F1 will become boring to the part time F1 fans again and the FIA will have to mess around with the rules to make it more interesting.

If he is rubbish it will just be embarrassing for everyone involved.

If he finds he is competitive, but just another driver because he has some good drivers to contend with for the first time in his career (Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel) then where's the story?

So as I see it's a lose, lose, lose situation for the F1 fans. The only winner is Mercedes marketing department who have put one over on Mclarean and Ferrari. I like Ross Brawn (not that I've ever met him), but I can see him cutting a solitary figure in the paddock next year - not that he will be bothered.


hmmm , nope . the winners will be

1)Michael Schumacher

2)Ross Brawn & Nick Fry

3)Mercedes GP Petronas F1 team

4)Schumacher's millions of fans

5)Increased TV F1 ratings and GP ticket sales

6)Bernie Ecclostone



the only losers in this are Schumacher haters

( you know who you are )


I think there are other winners like Lewis,who have no chance to race with Schu before and now they have the opportunities.


Dont reckon, if he wins then its a great driver winning races and the achievement at this age will be even more fantastic.

He wont be slow but if hes beaten to the punch, then its going to be good to watch either way.

Whats not to love, old guard against the young guns. Gonna be great, with Michael comes drama.


What an incredible set of dominoes this has been for Schumacher to come back into the sport. Massa's injury set it into motion and was aided by Button defecting Brawn to McLaren, let alone what happened with Ross and Honda. The odds of these things happening had to been very small!

I'd like your opinion James, but I think Ferrari made a very big mistake in all of this. Alonso wasn't officially to come to the team till 2011. The team obviously wanted Kimi out and why didn't they wait till after the season was over to make the final decision for their 2010 drivers? Schumacher would have been in a Ferrari if they had waited as no F1 teams were going to approve a 3rd car option. Alonso would still be racing for Renault one more year and both Massa and Schumacher would be racing on the same team like it was 2006 again. In the teams haste to plan for the future, it ultimately and ironically cost them what may have been the best opportunity they had for the 2010 season.

Wait and see, if Schumacher does well what are the chances we could see him in a Ferrari again for the 2011 season? Will he ever reunite with the Ferrari team or is this now a damaged relationship? Alonso in a Ferrari and Schumacher at another team, never in a million years would have taken that bet!

No matter what, this is good for the sport and the intra team rivalries are going to be amazing, let alone each team against each other. Oh, and I can't wait to see a low fuel qualifying run from the F1 master himself!

Still shocked as I'm sure most others are!


The excitement will build to a crescendo in Bahrain, with everyone relishing the prospect of four World Champions plus Massa and Vettel going head to head, wheel to wheel...

...and then on Saturday one of the cars will turn out to be 0.5s quicker than the others and we'll know straight away which two drivers will be 1st and 2nd in the championship.

I really hope it doesn't happen.


Weird news. He wants to race, but Formula1 is not pure racing. He said it himself that he enjoys karting because it is just racing in its pure form, nothing more.

If he thinks that nobody expects him to perform so there's no pressure, then he's going to be utterly slow. But being slow will suck, and losing will motivate him even more. Mental attitude is what will decide his outcome. Edge of greatness, or edge of madness. I can't understand this guy.

Then again, he's a pro. We can all speculate, but he's not stupid and knows exactly what to expect. In Schumi I trust.

As long as he beats Lewis, I will be overjoyed. Kick some asssss, old man!


Great news for F1 and its floating supporters - I really look forward to a good clean fight between the young guns and the old master. Good point earlier about the younger generation making too many mistakes and, as they are all doing it, the one making the least comes out on top.

I hope the racer ruthlessness doesn't turn into dirty tricks when he's behind and turn

‘I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here.‘ into 'if I can't get past, maybe a nudge will help'.


Well good luck to Schumacher.. Not a huge fan myself but still you have to respect what he has acheived and good luck to Rosberg too..

Im hoping Jacques Villeneuve will get the Renault drive...

If Schumacher isnt old enough at 41 then JV isnt too old at 38....


Villeneuve was probably too old the minute he stepped into a Williams in 1996. Let's face it; he was never good enough and got the chance to drive merely because of his surname. If you think Button was nto a deserving champion this year, look at Villeneuve in 1997; probably the worst championship year ever.


"As one ex F1 driver put it to me last week, “I don’t care if he is Michael Schumacher, when he’s wheel to wheel against Hamilton into a corner his brain is going to say, ‘I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here. ‘ It’s human nature and you cannot fight against it.”"

That's a rubbish and irrelevant comment.

Why should an older driver lift off first? It is equally likely that the older driver will go: I've got nothing to lose and I've done it all before, so I'll let the younger driver lift off before I do.


To which driver that said Schumi will think "I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here. ‘ It’s human nature and you cannot fight against it.”

I witnessed Schumacher drive 100mph karts in a car part only weeks ago. Risk to injury probably higher than in modern F1, and I can assure whoever said that that Schumacher didn't back out of any move. In fact he was probably the most aggressive driver on the track. One specific incident where him and another driver couldn't ended badly it was not Schumacher who 'backed out'.

Granted he didn't have the speed of the top guys (at the end of the day professional karters are some of the best drivers full stop), but christ Schumi was aggressive. If he has any sort of speed in that merc expect fireworks.

However Hamilton is the best driver out there followed by Alonso so it should be interested to see how the old man competes 🙂


Schumacher back will be interesting. I used to hate him for his seeming arrogance and questionable racing ethics but I softened my view in later years as it eventually became apparent he is a genuine person, if still somewhat of a dork occasionally blinded by his intense need to excel.

As for his age, 41 is not old at all. He will not have lost much, if any skill at that age, especially if one remembers Fangio dominated in his 40's in an era when anything over 40 really was old for a sports champion.

It's true that he may not be so willing to take big risks, especially since he doesn't have anything to prove anymore.

As Graham Bell, one of Britain's few great downhill ski racers stated after retiring from the World Cup: "When you're young and you see someone get hurt in a big crash, you say to yourself 'glad that wasn't me'. But then you reach a certain age and when you see someone get hurt, you start to say 'that could have been me!', and then you know it's time to go."

I never thought of Michael as a particularly big risk taker, relying more on preparation and calculated skill than balls, so he'll probably not be so affected so much by the "that could have been me" doubts. I wish him luck.


Now this will be a test for the 'new' FIA governance.

Many of his driving tactics were unsporting, dangerous and dodgy and he got away with everything up until his Monaco cheat. These were all under spanky Mosley's rule, will his best friend allow such deeds to go unpunished or will he be seen to show the world that he receives NO special favours ❗ 😕

To me this will be a very big test to how much of a 'sport' F1 is and how much they money men are still pulling all the strings 🙂


Sadly he will still get away with it......


Me thinks you are right, Ecclestone and Todt will see that their great man wins at least one more championship by hook or by crook ❗


You have to feel sorry for Peter Sauber losing Petronas to Mercedes and ProFX to Virgin.

BMW should support the Sauber team in 2010 in my view. Good luck to Sauber in 2010...

I wonder if Kobayashi brings in some sponsors in 2010 like Panasonic maybe?

Who do you think will be in the second Sauber seat James, Heidfeld would provide good continuity..


I think we are perhaps missing what may be the long term plan,spend a year maybe 2 with mercedes,which will have broken any long terms plans for a return to ferrari,so step forward to be the right hand man for Mr.todt at the FIA.


Can anyone imagine, really imagine what Rosberg is feeling and thinking this morning ❓

Ignore what's said in public as in private I'd suggest he's hating every single second of it know that in reality he is now defacto No 2 ❗


3 ways this could go.

1. Schumacher dominates as he has done in other years. Boring season.

2. Come back fails. All drivers in competitive cars regularly beat him, he fails to win a race and end season early.

3. Very competitive but not dominant. Multiple race wins by multiple teams Schumacher one of many driver in contention at end of the season.

Lets hope number 3!


I'm hoping it's no. 1, actually :). But probably not much chance of that happening.


2009 truly is a revolutionary year 🙂

Ross Brawn & Michael Schumacher. Two legends in one team. I truly hope the car is up to par.

The Brackley boys must be pinching themselves. How more surreal can you get? There seems to be no ending to their fairy tale. 2010 is gonna be a thriller! 2009 was just a teaser.


Looks like I get to be the only dissenting voice... assuming it is true, I am not happy MS is back. I never bought into the Schumi as F1 genius argument because there was always too much pushing things in his favour, and even with all that legal(ish) help, he had to resort to the illegal moves will Hill and Villeneuve, and parking on track.

I'm sure he'll win at least some races, as I anticipate the Merc GP being a decent car, but I'm not looking forward to the media circus and the hero worship. I only hope the other teams have got some stunning engineering to keep the attention off him a bit.

Sorry guys, but for me, this will spoil 2010, not improve it.

Cockney James Hunt

Bah Humbug!

"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."

The King is back. The man who Senna believed was supernaturally quick, the man who destroyed everybody for almost a decade, the man who won a race stuck in 5th gear, then man who still thrashes all who come before him in karting, the man who has no peer is coming back to F1 and you think this will spoil F1?

The white coats are on their way.


Last time I checked, I was entitled to an opinion. I don't think Schumacher is a god - deal with it! 🙂 He did as well as he did because he got a hell of a lot of help.

It will spoil F1 for me, because the entirety of the media will forget that there are other drivers on the track, and that will get dull real quick.


I don't think that will happen - there are plenty of drivers with star quality out there now


“I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here”.

That was Irvine, wasn't it? Not sure I agree - if anyone's human nature was to be brilliantly, surgically, forensically ruthless on track, it was Michael's.

Seems like all the ducks are in a row for Michael - neck mended, Uncle Ross in pure charge of the team, stepfather Jean as near as dammit in charge of F1, a teammate who's probably not likely to challenge his supremacy - 2010's been by far the best year for a comeback since his retirement. I hope his coming back doesn't tarnish the legacy, but I somehow don't reckon it will - if anyone can make this work, it's MS. Bloody brilliant news.

And I think he'll want to stick it to Luca di Montezemelo this year, to say 'see? You could have had this if you hadn't elbowed me out for Kimi!'


I'm happy to see Schuey back, although I hope he does remain competitive and it isn't like the last terrible albums of a formerly huge rock band.

I wonder if Michael has ever given any inclination towards running a team one day? With costs falling (and Michael's vast personal fortune) has he given any insight as to whether Schumacher Grand Prix will ever line up on the grid?


I wonder how much the fallout from Monaco 2006 will effect the atmosphere in the Mercedes camp.

Keke was very, very cynical in his comments following what happened in qualifying in 2006, and Michael is not one to forgive and forget.

If Michael has any sort of pace advantage over Rosberg (and I expect him to effectively end Rosberg's career frankly) it will cease to become team deutschland and become team schumi. How Keke handles that...well that could be interesting 🙂


As one ex F1 driver put it to me last week, “I don’t care if he is Michael Schumacher, when he’s wheel to wheel against Hamilton into a corner his brain is going to say, ‘I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here. ‘ It’s human nature and you cannot fight against it.”

Maybe thats why the Ex F1 driver is an Ex - it's going to be great to see - Michael was always ruthless in wheel to wheel combat and so is Lewis (and it seems Mr Kobayashi)


I'm so excited about next year's season, I could burst!

Thanks for all your blog posts this year James, you're the go-to-guy for the inside story.



As one ex F1 driver put it to me last week, “I don’t care if he is Michael Schumacher, when he’s wheel to wheel against Hamilton into a corner his brain is going to say, ‘I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here. ‘ It’s human nature and you cannot fight against it.”

Wasnt that Eddie Irvine who said that on the BBC? If that is the case Michael is coming back for the wrong reasons. Is "lift off" in his vocabulary? The whole point of this comeback is to show to the doubters that he can mix it up against the young guys. I predict Michael will be as tough as ever and race on the edge as he always has.

The only worry i have is that all the drivers will be gunning for him. The prospect of beating and over taking a 7 times world champion is more than enough motivation to throw it down the inside into turn 1.

If it was any other driver at 41 you wouldnt give them a chance, but the driver is Michael Schumacher.


Its going to be a monster of a season, really cant wait. The battles with in the teams will be as exciting as the battles between teams.

Alonso & Massa, Button & Hamilton, Rosberg & Schumi, Webber & Vettel. Let the battle commense.

Thanks for all your work this season James, you are a must read over morning tea!


Hang on everybody - Spare a thought for Nico, he signed thinking he was heading a team that would be build, to some extent, around him. Now he's got MS to deal with.

There's no way Ross Brawn is going to let Nico have any sort of freedom to win races, he should have stayed at Williams.

James, do you have any insight to Nico's reaction to this.



Well for me this news turns out to be experiencing a bit of strange emotions. I never was a fan of the driver Schumacher during his glory days.

But watching F1 the last two years all drivers seem to struggle to deliver a constant performance throughout the year without making any huge mistakes. This has learned me to appreciate more and more the skill, effort and level of consistency of Schumacher.

So, (do I dare saying it?) I will support Schumacher during next years Grand Prix and am anxious to find out how he will perform.


as it turns out it is only a one year contract. Do you already have some insight on why it is only one year? Because in the past Schumacher always signed multi-year contracts.

Is it about Vettel becoming a free agent, or is it about Schumacher wanting to find out if he still has 'it'?


The reports are a bit misleading. One is saying that it is a one year deal, the other is saying that it is a 3 year deal.

Any news from that perspective?


Though never been a fan of him, I think Michael Schumachers return is great for F1,Only hope that Nico Rosberg will get equal treatment and that the old Benetton and Ferrari situations won't happen again.


Right. So Raikkonen comes to Ferrari, Schumacher retires. Raikkonen leaves the sport, Schumacher returns.

Anyone else spot the pattern here??



Done deal, now confirmed, Hamilton against Shumi, bring it on!!! 🙂


Good news for all Schumacher book authors. They are going to have to write new chapters 🙂


Well now the theory JB left Brawn for a challenge becomes more questionable. with due respect to Hamilton going up against a 7 time world champion vs a upcoming 1 time world champion, doesnt even stack up.

I feel bad for JB though Generally this time of the year people still speak about the current world champion, look back at the season etc. But this year the focus shifted to the next year when Alonso move to Ferrari came about and now the Master himself comes back!

What a year of racing 2010 would be!! Hope the cars are equally matched to justify the talents in the teams of Ferrari, McLaren, Brawn and Red bull. The possibility of having the best ontrack action in more than a decade is very much real!!


It doesn't quite work like that. It's only because Button left Brawn/Mercedes that Schumacher came into the picture. Had he stayed it would have been Hamilton & Heidfeld (probably) versus Button & Rosberg.


A 3-year deal as well? I wasn't expecting that - whats your thoughts on that James? Could you imagine MS moving aside when Vettal is free?

Happy Christmas to you and your family James, and thanks for making this years F1 championship so much more enjoyable than normal!


"Team Deutschland, as Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche alluded to"

Well not quite what about Ross Brawn and being based in the UK?

Great news anyway!


Mercedes have missed a massive chance, Kimi Raikkonen was the man for the job. I doubt whether Michael will still have it at 41, can't see him beating Hamilton and Alonso. Be prepared for a few more Alonso moves on Schumacher. The

Alonso one around the outside of 130R was spectacular.


Four World Champions on the grid!

11 World Championships between them!!

And 130 race wins between them!!!

This has EPIC written all over it.

(Feel to correct stats if they are wrong)


And Vettel chasing hard 🙂


This is great news. james - i'll look forward to the next chapter of your schumi book!


As others have said, next season will be exciting. All we need is HD and less of that Jake Whatshisname.



Is it me? or do I get the feeling more people are excited to see Lewis Hamilton against Michael Schumacher than seeing Alonso in a Ferrari

This is what we wanted to see in 94' when we were very sadly robbed of watching Schumacher go head to head with Senna.

F1 is so amazing how history repeats, it's a wheel in motion, as Ross Brawn says, One door closes, another opens,

This is exactly why my faith in F1 will never diminish

Come on 2010! 78 days to go.... (for practice I think)



I think you're right Chris, it shows what people, supporters or not, really think of Hamilton, i.e. the best current F1 driver.

I too cannot wait to see Schumacher try it on with Hamilton, my money's on Hamilton to come out on top 🙂


OK - so Schumi is back. The new rules etc ... it is all shaping up for some terrific racing.

My issue is not with the teams/cars but the circuits.

When are we going to see some design changes to the circuits to open up the overtaking opportunities to let these champions truly race.

James ... how many 1st place wins are set because the winner started from pole ... year on year ... EVERY year !

Thinner cars ???


Marvellous. England vs Germany. Only 81 days to go


Let's hope there's no penalties then 😆


Mercedes have confirmed the signing.

I'm so thrilled and excited by this and it changes my Top 5 F1 moments of the year I have yet to submit to James.


I can see a new rivalry between Michaeal/Ross and Ferrari/Alonso. I hope this will motivate Ferrari to get their act together. Honestly, I hope the French court will lift the ban on Pat Symonds. Ferrari needs someone with his calibre at least. I don't think the current management is going anywhere. So Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes will be the teams to beat next season.


Simmonds should never be seen in F1 again, goodbye to him and his kind 👿


This is going to be a great season!

80 days 'till the first race... can't wait that long.

Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Vettel, Shumacher, Silverstone and no Mosley. Life is good in F1 again 🙂

Just got to get the stewards to see eye to eye.


It's been a long time since we've had so many top line drivers though my money's on Hamilton as he is the most Senna-est I've seen since the greatest himself.


The 2010 season is going to be the best ever! I know a lot of people have said this but it really will be...all that is missing now is JAMES ALLEN in the commentry box.

James, are you in contact with the BBC to replace Leggard??? Im sure we all would agree, to have you in the box would top it off!


Partly agree, bring Allen back but give decent tracks so cars can race instead of what Ecclestone keeps serving us ❗


I guess we won't know the relative performance of the new cars until testing in Feb. If this was last year, for example, no-one would have had the Brawn lot in their tips for the forthcoming year, so we just don't know. I think if Scumi even wins one race, it will bring tears of joy to millions.

So even though there's not much point in trying to predict James, would you have any gut feelings about strong cars next year? Surely McLaren and Ferrari have to be favourites being the mega-teams with the biggest budgets and experience of success, being the fact they started working on their 2010 cars mid way through this last season.

I'm just praying Mercedes can produce a package to compete with the big two.


I wonder how the "Tifosi" will react come Monza.... especially if he's ahead of thr red cars?


They are a bit like the romans, if your in favour then all is well, if you step outside the 'empire' then your a barbarian and filthy pig!

he's in for a HELL of a time with the tifossi! they are a fickle lot.


I think there are too many unknowns to be sure that the Mercedes will be a fast car. The aero balance will be different, so this year's concept don't just carry over. The chassis length and weight distribution will be different, along with the greater mass variation with the fuel. Brawn didn't do a great job of developing the 2009 car post Turkey and that is the team that is developing next year's car.

Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren have the opportunity to design their cars around the double diffuser concept and have more time to think about it. Based on time spent and resources, Ferrari are best placed to be where Brawn were in February. Red Bull might have an advantage with the Renault engine's fuel consumption.

Rosberg's situation is interesting. He's had a year being beaten by Webber and then two years beating a guy who's deemed not worthy of an F1 drive. His new yardstick had doubts around him - if Rosberg matches or beats a seven time champ, the assumption will be that Schumacher isn't quite what he was. If Schumacher has the edge then he has to convince the world he is the next Felipe Massa rather than a Finnish-German Eddie Irvine. We'll probably only know when Rosberg's contract is up for renewal as to what to make of him.


"Brawn didn’t do a great job of developing the 2009 car post Turkey and that is the team that is developing next year’s car."

You're forgetting that they all but stopped developing the BGP001 post-Turkey. And in any case, building a new prototype is a different sort of development skill to improving one that is already very close to as good as can be (given its limits as somewhat of a botch-job, like last year's Brawn was).

There's every possibility that Mercedes could dominate 2010 like Brawn dominated the start of 2009. But at this stage we just don't know yet.


I think we should look no further than Adrian Newey's penned design for 2010 - although I do hope McLaren produce a stunner as well !


If Schumacher is faster than Rosberg then I'd say it's more likely he'd stay at Mercedes as Schumacher wouldn't stand fr any real competition, watch how he gets the team playing to HIS tune - pity Rosberg 🙁



Ferrari fan but at this point I really don't care. Just to see him race again would be amazing thrill.

Great pairings for next yr, great teams and looks like a 2010 is going to be awesome. Sad though that Kimi isn't there to also mix it up.

Ferrari - Latinos

Mclaren - British

Mercedes - German

Sounds like the World Cup is coming early in March.




I think the comment ‘I’m 41, he’s 24, I’m going to be the one who lifts off here' made by the ex-F1 driver is total rubbish. Surely you don't think what age your opponent is and decide when to lift off on that basis. However, I'm not an ex-F1 driver so I can't say what's going through their mind, but the age factor is a poor excuse for a poor performance in my view, a lack of hunger is more important.


Schumacher: "To put it simply: I'm totally fired up for next year!"

and so are we!!!

are there any more twists in the offseason? 🙂


As someone who started off as a Damon Hill fan, and gradually coming round to appreciating the success of Schumi I have to say I'm delighted to see him back.

Just as everyone is saying Jenson is going to blown away (not one that I subscribe to incidently) by Lewis next year, I think the discussion of MS not being quick enough will burn away.

Michael Schumacher is not some dillusional has-been and wouldnt be coming back if he didnt think he could be fast.

I look forward to seeing him back, even if I will be supporting Jenson and Lewis next year.


If you look back Luca was pushing for a third car because he knew then Schumi was wanting to come back. Everyone knew the third car idea was a pipe dream so there was little hope in retaining Schumi. Also explains why he only agreed in principal to a Ferrari extension to his consultancy role and never signed anything.

Ferrari is my team... so GO MASSA GO ALONSO!!!










yes yes yes, 2010 come already!


I'd rather enjoy seeing Herr Schumacher get a season-long

taste of defeat.

Even more, I'd like to see him receive harsh punishment

from the FIA the next time he engages in questionable

on-track conduct, which those who followed his career

know is likely to occur.




any plans of re-releasing you Schumacher Biography and adding another Chapter to it?

I may be convinced to buy it then 😉


I am going to explode with excitement.


My best birthday present ever 🙂 - turned 25 yesterday.

My earliest memory of F1 was of Prost and Senna locking wheels on some tight corner... And I remember bits and pieces of Mansell's championship, and like it was yesterday - Senna's accident. Being a such a young boy, I'd never knew that day would be a turning point: one where I'd say goodbye to an old hero, and support another for 14 more years.

Welcome back Michael Schumacher. I can't wait to see the 7 star crown again, this time with 1 star at your feet.


I'm not that thrilled to see Schumacher back although it's great news for F1 as it brings more drama to next season.

People seem to forget the blatant cheats that has tainted his career.

I still remember him deliberately crashing into villeneuve in 1997, into hill in 1994, even into Häkkinen in Macao when competing in F3.

What about the deliberate crash in Monaco 2006 during qualifying to prevent alonso from getting pole.

He might be a great champion, but when under pressure, he's prone to mistakes and if not, can go over the limit.

Cockney James Hunt

Anything that Michael Schumacher did on the track pales into insignificance next to the consequences of Alonso's spat with Ron Dennis

And Lewis Hamilton is certainly no angel - he admitted deceiving the sport and the public last season.

Why single Schumacher out when it's clear the very best drivers he'll face next year are equally obsessive in their desire to succeed?

If the three of them have competitive cars, the Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher three-way should be incredible to watch - particularly in qualifying.


Superbly written piece James - very insightful and provoking.


For those that have not seen it, here's Schumi's interview on BBC News today.

Paige Michael-Shetley

This is some of the best news F1 has had for a long time. There are too many instances of unparalleled brilliance you can point to in Schumacher's career to say that he's not the greatest of all time, IMO.

F1 is going to be very exciting next season with the top four drivers on the grid all being on the top four teams (no particular order): Schumacher at Mercedes, Alonso at Ferrari, Hamilton at McLaren, and Vettel at Red Bull. Adding to the mix is the fact there are three other very strong drivers in those teams in Massa at Ferrari, Button at McLaren, and Webber at Red Bull. (If only Kimi were around next year; that would have added yet another bit of excitement!)

It will be interesting to see how Rosberg approaches the year. He's been given an amazing opportunity to drive for a top team that most drivers never get, and one can argue there are drivers more deserving of such an opportunity. He must produce top results now. At the same time, there can be no doubting that Schumacher comes into the team as the number one driver, given his record and his past working relationship with Ross Brawn under the same circumstances. If he's asked to support Schumacher, he must. Plus, he can use the opportunity to learn a lot from a 7-time world champion.


I can say nothing more than this: Christmas has come early.


Come on James ! , not censorship ! , admit you got it wrong with you so called "insight" into F1.............

"Why Ferrari won't let Schumacher go to Mercedes Benz" - your words posted 10/12.



Not wrong, just pointed out why Ferrari would have a problem with it, but it got sorted out. If you don't like my insights, then may I suggest that you go and read other blogs and don't bother coming here again

Cockney James Hunt



What a shame Kimi's name is not on that list. I am not sure what he could have driven but I would love to see him mix it up with the rest.

I congratulate JB on his championship but you actually hit it on the head the other day,James, when you said "Jenson does not have the X factor". Kimi at McLaren would have been more compelling, in my view.

Robert in San Diego

P.S. Speed TV are replaying all the GP's. I am amazed at how much I forgot!

Paige Michael-Shetley

One more observation:

Another possibly strong motivation for Schumacher to come back, especially now with Mercedes, is the opportunity to win the world championship with another team. I've read in the past where he has spoken with reverence of the fact that Fangio won world championships with four teams. If Schumi does it with Merc, he'd be only the second driver to win world championships with three teams.


Now confirmed Schumachers return is good news for the sport and Mercedes in particular, but very bad news for Nico Rosberg. After managing to land a seat in a top team despite some pointers suggesting that he isn't exactly top draw. e.g

- Pounded by Lewis when they were team mates in Karts

- Slower than Webber at Williams

- Numerous errors when in with shout of a good result (Monaco 2008, Singapore 2009 to name a few)

- Patrick Head's comments about being inconsistent

Now he find himself with the impossible task of being Schumachers team mate. If he beats him its because Schumacher is past his best, if (and most likely) he looses, then this is the beginning of the end of his claim to be a top driver. Its ironic that Keke Rosberg steered him away from Mclaren knowing that he had no chance against Lewis...

However, having said all that, Barbie I wish you well


Incidentally, Keke Rosberg refused to comment on Michael being Nico's teammate earlier today. Apparently he just said: "I'm not a driver anymore. Ask my son." Someone's definitely in a bad mood, aren't they? 🙂 I wonder if Keke thinks it's possible for his son to keep up with the great master. Probably not.. Well, at least it's not exactly the Alonso-Piquet mismatch, so it should be interesting.


2010 is going to be fantastic. I echo the sentiments frequently expressed in the comments this year, your blog has been a must read. This time last year Jenson was having a tough time - but I guess it must have been a pretty grim end to 2009 for you James. We all applaud your achievement this year of producing the definitive F1 column. Thank you and have a great Christmas.

Now folks, how do we persuade the BBC to kick Ledgard off to cover football again and get JA back on the mic with MB? Who's going to start a petition? (people power worked for Rage) - seems like we've got 70 odd days...


Ross&Schumi, the most awesome Grand Prix duo ever, back in business. Absolutely superb. And congrats to Bertrand Gachot on his 47th birthday.


Let the frenzy begin.


A three years deal..

Just what a blow this for:

- Ferrari: all marketing/image brand done untill now... vanished!

- BMW: they retire while their main competitor both on their domestic market and worldwide buys a new time for few, can win both championships next year...and gets Michael Schumacher and all the sponsorship/marketing that goes with it!

- McLaren: they tought they made a "coup" with Jenson, but this is nothing compared to this!

- Sauber... never been lucky with Mercedes from his debuts in F1.

- Heidfeld... bad luck once again. Hope he'll get a seat and the best one possible. He deserves it, I personnaly rate him higher than he may look like.

- Rosberg: must be a bit nervous and anxious, this is not gonna be easy at all, and he really might damage his current reputation.

- Alonso, Massa and all the drivers that will compeat for next 3 (!) world championships and who already have fighted Schumacher on the track. Do not think Lewis and Vettel will feel the same "pressure".

I'm pretty sure Schumi's come back must have been talked with Ross much more earlyer than November, and perhaps Michael even started thinking it when Brawn won the Autralian GP. Wouldn't be surprised of that.

It'll be a very interesting 2010 season. Let's hope Raikkonen to be back in 2011.


I'd also say it's a blow for Jenson: now looks like he was dropped to let the seat to a 7 times world champion... who retired three years ago. Does not put much credit to his abilities...


You just drew my attention to something. All Schumi fans should give a special thank you to Jenson at this point:). After all, he's the one who made this Christmas miracle possible!


Don't think he was dropped as such, but it shows that Ross knew he had a strong back up plan..


You're absolutely right, not easy for the french that I am to use the correct english word to express a precise idea!

I still feel this was more than a strong back up plan, I should have said this was a stronger plan than keeping Button in... I bet, as a lot of people:

- Brawn will once again design a fast car next year: 1/ when is the last one which was not competitive? Even the 2005 car was very good but Michelin teams had a huge advantage. 2/ They knew very early in this season they had THE dominant car of the season so were able to concentrate on next year's one very early with good new and "next step" ideas (when the others were concentrated on understanding then designing the double decker diffuser) 3/ Mercedes engine has proved to be reliable.

- Schumacher still has the ability and the fitness to win races and championships (3 years deal!), don't understand how some may doubt about it. I've never liked him a lot for some reasons, but I've never seen a driver with such a conviction, such a "thirst" for fighting, winning and beeing the best at every moment.

So would Schumacher have accepted to drive a non winning car ? No.

Would be interesting to ask Raikkonen when he announced "I feel Mercedes will have two german drivers" if he knew or felt he would be Schumacher...


Everyone who remembers knows MS was gently "nudged" from the driver's seat at Ferrari because he was then unwilling to commit to a multi-year deal and Kimi was at the end of his Mac contract. Ferrari didn't want Fernando either. My how times have changed. BTW, anyone remember all the pundits who said Kimi would blow Felipe away and Massa would only last one more year?

Too bad for Nick who still has never had a decent car. I think MS will have equal or less pace than Nico. I am 50 and know that determination cannot reverse the effects of age. On the other hand, both MS and Nico will be able to develop the car better than any other team so they should do better than most at the end of the season.

I expect the cars to rank in this order…

Red Bull




[Stefan if they get they get a grid spot and Toyota's plans]


Sauber Ferrari

Williams (could be higher is the Cosworth has the FIAdvantage)


Then the new teams in this order unless Cosworth FIAdvantage moves them forward.






I picked the following from from Andrew Benson's blog:

"As he swept around the outside of the Ferrari, Alonso's speed at the apex of the corner was 208mph. Knowing that any contact between the two cars would have resulted in an accident that at least one of them may well not have escaped unhurt, the bravery required to pull that off against a man who had built his reputation on bullying and intimidation was immense - the more so given that, two years before, Schumacher had edged Alonso on to the grass at Silverstone at more than 180mph."

"Asked about it a few weeks later, Alonso told the veteran F1 journalist Nigel Roebuck: "At times like that, I always remember that Michael has two kids."

This is telling and will be more true next year.


Even so, how many wheel-to-wheel situations arise at the front of the field in modern-day F1? Not many, I think.


The one thing that seems to grate me in all this I'd the fact that the current world champ seems to consistently be forgotten. All the talk is about schumi against Hamilton, or vettel. I know he's not raced these guys before, but then he never raced button in a mclaren. Button is better than some of the comments suggest. Next year could well suit his style much better than lewis. We have a number of good drivers in a number of good cars. F1 is about drivers and cars racing against each other. Not just one merc against the world. Next year will be anyoned guess. We could well see record numbers of drivers winning a race. And button has a good a chance as any. We don't all subscribe to the title race being between schumi, Hamilton and alonso. I find it very frustrating that Jense gets slated so much. Of all the good overtaking moves this year, jense was amongst them. So why are so many of you assuming he won't be a match against lewis? Or any other driver? If I remember correctly, he pushed a Prost around a circuit at a time that was quicker than the driver of the time, one jean alesi. With very little experience of an f1 car.


thank you so much (god of F1 where ever your throne resides!) - fan TASTIC!!! now all we need is the season to be put forward to 1st Feb and testing sesaon to open from New years day...march pfft...cant wait that long!!


No wonder Jean Todt is appointing someone to oversee F1 on his behalf he maybe slightly torn between maintaining the FIA's "special privileges" for Ferrari or favouring his "prodigal son"


"To carry on would have put his friend and team mate Felipe Massa out of a job and so he gave that as one of the main reasons for stopping."

What, M Schumacher ended his own career sooner so that Massa could continue with his?


lol, james you could write a whole new book on Schumi's return.

'back to the edge of greatness'; I'll have 1% of royalties please 🙂


I would love to see Alonso hammer Schumacher on the race track, it would be fun to see him being beaten by the team that made him a bigger star to what he is today.

F1 is a multi national sport, Mercedes boss said this would be "Team Germany", we may have a lot more German commands and direction and McLaren took most decisions and direction than Mercedes, Haug will be tested and i hope Ross delivers a lot as BMW and Toyota as Renault have had little patience when results were not delivered.

How long is Mercedes GP gets committed to F1, it will be interesting to watch.


To all who are doubting his decision to comeback at least be happy for the man himself, he wants to race again why should he listen to the doubters? Even if he doesn't win again at least he will take immense pleasure in being involved again and who are we to tell him that is a mistake?


I'm with you Barry. I hope he has a ball next season. I know I will.


As an old Schumi fan, I don't know if I like it or not. I just hope that he's still up for it... I hope I'm still a Schumi fan after the first couple of races!


I'm so excited by this news.

2010 could be epic! He will be fast and will win races.

The stewards will have their work cut out....


I'm in total agreement with M__E, I really can't wait until the middle of March.

The excitement will get me before then.

Thankfully, I've secured my tkts for Montreal. Looking forward to seeing four (maybe five) World Champions's on the grid ... that's a contrast to 2004, when there was only 1.

Wow, a 3yr deal. Does anyone else think he's got his eyes focused on double digits?

It's going to be a great season with more variables than I can ever remember


I dont want to write this but since the thought got into my head it will not go away.Hope it does soon.

Michael may be coming back to permanently end his days in F1 just like Michael Jackson come back.

What if he dies in early practice pre-season or in a race.

What happened to Massa just shows that F1 is still dangerous and the same could happen to any driver. An older driver is not usually able to recover as well as a younger one.

This is not something I wamted to post but the thought has struck me.

It does happen that way for legends and for greats, that is why there are so few living legends.

I think MS should stay away as should have Michael Jackson.


I do not like Michael Schumacher. But I am happy he is coming back. It means more fun for everyone I suppose. Looking forward to next year.

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