Official: Michael Schumacher to return for Ferrari in the European Grand Prix

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Michael Schumacher will drive Felipe Massa's Ferrari in Valencia
Michael Schumacher will drive Felipe Massa's Ferrari in Valencia

We had only just begun talking about who might replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari and now it has been confirmed:

Michael Schumacher will return to Formula 1 in the European Grand Prix driving alongside Kimi Raikkonen.

Schumacher said on his official website:

I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe.

Though it is true that the chapter Formula 1 has been closed for me since long and completely, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am I also very much look forward to facing this challenge.

Schumacher will be racing the F60 – a car he has never driven – at the Circuito Urbano Valencia – a track he hasn’t raced on before.

Last year’s European Grand Prix was derided as a boring procession. I fancy we might have something rather more interesting to talk about in three-and-a-half weeks’ time.

Saddened though we all have been by Massa’s crash – and relieved at his continued recuperation – it will be a thrill to see Schumacher up against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

More on Michael Schumacher

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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317 comments on “Official: Michael Schumacher to return for Ferrari in the European Grand Prix”

  1. Well, this will be interesting

    1. I’m sure Mark Gene thinks so too……..

    2. good to see schumi back, shame coz I wanted Sato back this year. look at how small he is next to michael!-

      – a real gutsy driver.

    3. hooray!!! its a god given golden opportunity for us to witness the return of the ” art of cheating”. but i’m 100% sure that the cheater will have his *** wiped neat by raikkonen & hamilton, if he’s anywhere near the mclaren. i’ll pay 999999 usd to watch shoemaker getting lapped by hamilton. i’m sure it’ll happen. what is shoe thinking?? this is not WWF, where people like Hulk Hogan,undertaker, Yokozona can return to the rigside whenever they want & start kicking others a***s. he is making a fool of himself, he’s well past his prime. i expect jamie algwhatever to lap him. Ferrari have made a horrible & rash decition to get him back. The return of “the “cheat” is not going to do anything good to their already tarnished image. schoemaker you are a loser!! muahahaha !!!

      1. i think you are the loser here! you keep on bashing someone who is 7 times world champion. grow up! he’s doing this out of loyalty and not because he want to win. He did not volunteer for your information. They begged his service.

        1. CD it was only 2 years ago that Ferrari pushed Schumi out to make way for Kimi, so lets be careful with the word ‘loyalty’ it should also be remembered that all the championships that Schumi ‘won’ with Ferrari must be drawn into question as they had that very secret Veto during his tenure…

          1. I thought Schumacher retired so that Massa could have a drive instead of being stuck as test driver.

          2. Forget all the wins that Michael won [Surely he must have had outside/divine help to top the next by almost 40 wins!]
            But what about his pole positions?
            What about his fastest laps?
            There’s no one around who can best that – ever. Ayrton would have been on top as far as pole positions were concerned had he not died so tragically. He was the only one who could best Michael in setting the fastest qualifying lap.

        2. roger takeuchi
          1st August 2009, 12:15

          this man has only won the way he has by CHEATING his way through his entire career

      2. phuk man that was stupid from you mp4-19b.

        I usually agree with most of your comments but M schumacher was not a 7 time world champion because he cheated. Yes he has done many things I personally dont like either, but 90% he won because his teammates could not beat him, and thats fair and square. So if the team favored him for whatever reason as many other teams do to many other drivers that was not his fault. You should get your thoughts reevaluated there.

        that was totally dumb from you, sorry.

        1. its really saddening to know many people,including you (of all the people) here still consider the east german to be the best ever grand prix driver. its shows utter ignorance on the part of those section of people. if someone tries to counter the argument, all one gets as a reply is

          1) he’s won 7 wdc’s
          2) he’s won 91 gp’s

          these are extra ordinary numbers agreed, but are these numbers a gauge for the drivers talent, driving ability, speed
          ? moreover tell me who else got to spend almost their whole career time in one of the most competitive team ?? not even one. and to make the job easier for the east german, he had perfect team mates in the form of ricardo patrese,johnny herbert,jos verstappen, martin brundle, johnny herbert, eddie irvine, poor rubens barrichello all ready to play second fiddle to him. a true formula one fan, unlike most audience here will never consider the east german to be the greatest grand prix driver of all time.

          1. No, just no.

          2. Don’t forget Nelson Piquet (senior, of course). I guess he was the perfect second fiddle, just ask Nigel.
            Schumacher is West German, by the way.

          3. you consider yourself a true F1 fan???

            HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

            I think you can only be considered a true F1 troll…

          4. East German? Kerpen is pretty close to Cologne last time I looked at a map…

            Was Ferrari the most competitive team when he started there? Not by a long shot.

            Oh yeh, you don’t use an apostrophe in wdc’s or gp’s as it is plural, not ownership or an abbreviation.

          5. well i dunno, I still respect your opinion in number of things so I dont wanna say anything more, but I disagree with your opinion and evaluation of schumacher.

            You are quick to call him a cheater for wining, I dont see how that is possible to achieve. People who hate him simply say that, and say that his team mates were forced to be slower!? that is just total bull. Schumacher might have been favored by his team not by force but simply by fact that he was always just that “extra bit” better and more consistent. Consistency is what measures quality of driver more than anything else and that he certainly had. And remember Ferrari were slow as crap when Michael joined. I think your opinion would be different if you had properly followed F1 from the early 90’s.

            I am not saying Schumacher is perfect, as I told you he did number of stupid things. But you cant say he is a total cheater – just doesnt make sense.

          6. but also remember , he worked and applied his talent for several years , including breaking a leg , then applied more to keep development and ahead. Lots of drivers will win in the fastest car , as Lewis showed last year , but few will have the all round talent , technical skill , dedication and absolute speed like the “grand master” MS has , so even if he does not come out and win already , watching out will be a pleasure.

          7. now barrichello is in a competitive car.i bet if situation comes he cant beat schumi.the above mentioned drivers cant poove that they are talented than shumi when they drove.thats the reason they were second fiddle all the time.i hope u understood mr. mp4-19b………….

          8. Not one of these comments mentions the technical advantage Ferrari enjoyed, and nurtured, from the beginning of Schumi’s career with them, combined with his, and a group of English speaking team engineers/designers, abilities, Ferrari became a tour de force within F1, all done with an advantage they should not have had, some would describe it as a form of cheating, it is now irrelevant, as the person most affected, apart from Massa, is Gene, who should have got the drive.

      3. mp4-19b, your comments always depress me.

        1. in this argument people always turn to the numbers because the numbers are so damn impressive.

          You don’t become a 7 time world champion by being a flog.

          Shumi was the real deal and I have know doubt that he can put that ferrari in the points next gp and maybe even on the podium.

          Good to see you back old mate.

      4. roger takeuchi
        1st August 2009, 12:12

        i am with you on the cheat idea, why ever they are going to let the biggest cheat in F1 history, or possibly any sport,anywhere near a car again is beyond belief

  2. This is officially the craziest F1 season ever! :O

    1. I second this notion. Most of it BAD craziness, too.

      1. GooddayBruce
        29th July 2009, 19:00

        Agreed – crazier than a bag full of badgers.

        I cant believe we have to wait a whole month!

        1. Sush Meerkat
          29th July 2009, 19:29

          all the nay sayers have said its a boring F1 season, ignore them when quelling them is out of the question.

          Bring it on.

      2. yeah but this is the good ‘bad’

        1. Casino Square
          29th July 2009, 19:33

          What a weird year- if only the racing was as exciting as everything else in F1 this year.

          1. I used to hate schumacher cos he won all the time, no-one was good enough to take him on, now i can’t wait to see him battling with lewis!

            What a season! Hopefully brawn will be up to speed as well!

          2. Can’t wait for Schumacher to show Lewis and all his fans what he’s worth

          3. shoemaker is worth my torn old school shoe :)

    2. So weird! Its almost theatrical…like pro wrestling.

      Maybe next month Jackie Stewart will hit Mosley over the head with a folding chair, and then challenge Bernie to a sudden-death-free-for-all-elimination-cage-match for supremacy of F1. :)

      1. Williams 4ever
        29th July 2009, 22:05

        That was the Best Comment… and it would be “Good” among all the craziest things in this F1 season

      2. I take Jackie on the odds.

        1. Yeah, Jackie’s a competitor and he’s getting to be a cranky old coot. My money’s on Stewart.

    3. Lenny,

      right on ! This is tremendous news, and totally against what I was expecting. You gotta love how quickly things change in F1, unlike any other sport on the planet.

      Valencia will be electric and so will Spa … and then in Monza it will be something else.

  3. Alex Cooper
    29th July 2009, 18:46

    If only Kimi was up for the title and Michael had to play second fiddle…

    1. He would be very good at it… remember 1999?

    2. Michael would do it in a heartbeat – he did it for Eddie Irvine in 1999!

      1. Errr. Lynn – was that the year his broken leg was so slow mending that he couldn’t drive (and thus support Irvine’s push for the WDC) until Luca called one day, and spoke with MS’s daughter, who explained that “daddy was outside playing soccer”? You mean he’d do it in THAT sort of heartbeat???

        1. Never heard that story… he did come back and almost took enough out of Hakkinen to hand the title to Irvine, which is what I was thinking of.

          1. Williams 4ever
            29th July 2009, 22:07

            Yup the LDM caaught Schummi’s bluff and he had no options than to return to the car for supporting Eddie

          2. Lynn – as his leg mended, the rumours were rife that MS would not come back and help Irvine take the first Ferrari WDC of the Schumacher era – he wanted that for himself. MS publicly said leg wasn’t mended enough, and although he could practice some, he couldn’t go race distance. Then one day he got caught by Luca playing soccer. He was back in the car the very next race. He left it just late enough so that Irvine did not win the WDC, though Ferrari won the WCC. In his heyday, the one thing you could not accuse MS of was being a team player. It might be different now, and I’m looking forward to seeing him drive – though the mickey mouse Valencia track would not be my first choice.

    3. a good one alex cooper.

  4. Let me have the honour of making the first comment on this piece of news.

    WELCOME BACK SCHUMI, WELCOME BACK… where you belong.

    23rd August, the countdown begins

    1. Ahhh 4th… :(

      But Still.. :D :D

      4 WDCs on the grid. 2 on the same team, when did that happen last?

      1. 4 WDC, but with 4 teams: 1999 Japanese Grand Prix – Schumacher, Hill, Hakkinen, Villeneuve.

        1. GooddayBruce
          29th July 2009, 19:02

          Surely (the last few races of) 1985:

          Prost, Lauda – McLaren
          Piquet – Brabham
          Rosberg – Williams

      2. 3 :-P Alonso won’t be racing

        1. Not in the next race, but in all the rest races he will.

          1. Yeah :) If i was going to Valencia I would be furious. Most people going are going for Alonso and only that reason.

          2. Surely they will reverse the ban, or at least reduce it so a suspended sentence…

            They can’t just screw over the Spanish event like that.

          3. Can’t Renault race under appeal??

        2. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet on this, TommyB.
          I’ll eat my hat if that insane penalty isn’t going to be converted to a monetary & grid-position fine on “second” (i.e. financial consequences) thought.

        3. I wouldnt want to be at the Valencia race in an FIA official capacity or for that fact even wearing anything with fia on it.
          That would be a recipe for danger.

          1. Think Max will show up at Velencia?
            I hope so!

    2. @sumedh

      couldnt agree more!!!

      Welcome BACK Schumi!!.. Go Kick some a**!!!!!

  5. Forza Ferrari this is going to be fun. The season is now getting interesting even if it is not for the championships :)

  6. I’ve looked forward to nothing more all season, and it’s already been pretty good!

  7. Does he even have a super-license for this year, or will he have to get one before the race? It’s a long way off so he wouldn’t have a problem if he did have to…

    1. No he doesn’t have a license at the moment but I can’t see Max or Bernie standing in the way.
      He can drive last years car around track to get up to speed…
      This is very exciting news, can’t wait

      1. he tested last years car already. and he can still do straight lines i believe if ferrari havent exceeded their milage/hours yet.

  8. Stunning.

  9. I believe Schumacher’s return will be a massive disappointment for those of us who remember him at his best. He’s the wrong side of 40, been out of F1 for nearly three years and is recovering from a fairly hefty injury himself. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see how he fares.

    I don’t believe Valencia has any Rascasse-style corners, so he might be okay….

    1. Totally agree.. Not the greatest of Ideas.. especially given his good memories of overtaking Kimi in Brazil in his last race. I dont want to see him soundly beaten by Vettel, Hamilton and the likes who are the experts of the new age F1 cars.

      1. Yeah, every new driver who will beat schumacher in Valencia, and we will have to read thousands of comments about how those “new gods” beat a legend.

        1. Yep, his last Grand Prix was his best – what a way to go! But now everyone will expect him to win and if he qualifies lower than about 5th everyone will say he’s passed it

      2. That pass on Kimi is what I want my last memory of Schumi in F1 to be. The old man sticking it to his replacement in his last race.

        He HAS to top that in Valencia. This could either be magical or embarrassing.

    2. Williams 4ever
      29th July 2009, 22:13

      You said it.. Hope all the fizzle doesn’t go all flat like all the Buzz on JV’s return to F1 in 2004 season

    3. Schumi has never cared what the public think about him. His records and name speaks for its self. People love him or hate him. He is coming out of retirement at the request of Ferrari. Im sure he will be perfectly capable of driving the car as quick as kimi if not quicker. You dont forget to drive a car overnight. Remember he started driving f1 cars on slicks, no traction etc etc.

      Im sure is instinct is just as good as ever. Remember mansall came back at the same age and dominated in a car that was a lot less stable the current f1 cars and lot harder to drive.

    4. Bernification
      30th July 2009, 1:28

      Not to mention, Ferrari’s power of veto seems to be over.

  10. One word: COOL :D :D :D

  11. What a day… :)

  12. looking forward to lewis putting the old timer in his place!!!!!!

    dallas in the 80’s = F1 in 2009

    1. Williams 4ever
      29th July 2009, 22:30

      Yup that would be such a joy wouldn’t it be. Some one in prime and in race-ready condition beating the hell out of driver who has retired 3 years ago, nursing a injury and hasn’t been in F1 car for more than a year.. What a great sight

  13. i think money is of course a contributing factor to getting the license. something he has lots of! lets hope he doesn’t crash into any of the championship contenders tho.

    1. Williams 4ever
      29th July 2009, 22:34

      i think money is of course a contributing factor to getting the license.

      Do you even know what you are talking??
      FYI -To get superlicense a driver has to have driven for number of miles stipulated by FIA in Test or FIA approved racing series, (F3, GP2 are two that come to mind)

  14. Will also be his first experience of night racing, of course…

    1. Is Valencia a night race, i thought that was singapore?

      1. That’s what he meant, if Massa is out for the rest of the season.

  15. bad_whippet
    29th July 2009, 18:59

    This’ll be the best race at Valencia we’ll EVER see…

    Hat off to Schumacher for taking up the challenge. already have Schumacher to win at 9/4 odds!

    1. Would not be hard to be the best race in Valencia yet would it

    2. Bigbadderboom
      30th July 2009, 15:32

      Odds for race win Schuey Valancia 12-1, 9-4 to win a race this season! Sorry to correct!

  16. Pedro Andrade
    29th July 2009, 18:59

    It will be great to have Schumacher once again. Lets see if he is up to the challenge.

  17. Would love to see Schumi back in a F1 car, but have to wonder if it’s a good idea for him, especially since he won’t get to sit in the car until race week.

    Definitely looking forward to it, though.

    1. Paige Michael-Shetley
      29th July 2009, 19:08

      Surely, they’ll have Schumacher do some straight-line testing.

      1. Williams 4ever
        29th July 2009, 22:40

        Does straight line testing sound like the DUI test given to drivers pulled over by cops :P

  18. How long will he race? As long as Massa is out? And, HOW MUCH IS FERRARI PAYING HIM?

    1. Casino Square
      29th July 2009, 19:31

      Dicky Weber was just saying yesterday he was 200% sure Schumi wasn’t coming back, which inevitably will have raised his salary even higher. Remember, he’s the man who made Ralf Schumacher a multi billionaire- he can produce money from thin air when he’s got Michael

      1. I’m learning F1-speak:
        “200% sure Michael isn’t coming back” seem to translates as:

        “200%” = we are asking a 200% increase of Ferrari’s last offer .

        “sure” = and throw in a few other long-term goodies for Micheal’s long-term marketing contracts for Ferrari.

    2. Williams 4ever
      29th July 2009, 22:43


      He is under Ferrari contract for 2009 and No chance of 2010 renewal (But of course things may change based on increase in viewership, public interest etc).

  19. No disrespect to Massa but it will be great to have a true racer not just a racing driver back. And he doesnt have championship to think about, I think he will be taking risks.

  20. One big name leaves, another MASSIVE name arrives.


    I bet Willy Weber feels daft now.

  21. it will be until massa is fit again which could be spa or monza. would LOVE to seee schumi race at Spa again- a track he knows and loves.

    1. spanky the wonder monkey
      30th July 2009, 10:50

      i’d be very very surprised to see massa back for spa. fractured skulls don’t fix themselves that quickly. then there’s bound to be follow up medical approvals based on the blow to the head. may be wrong, but gut feeling says we won’t see FM back to race spec for at least 2 months, if not the remainder of the season.

  22. WOOOW…..I cant Wait till 23rd……….

    Though personally thrilled to see him in a F1 racer again. It is also not the best idea Once you have stopped at the healm of the sport with a spectacular year. He should not leave behind any unsuccessful tastes later on.

    The problem for Kimi, Massa, Montzemelo and Domencilli would be if he goes on to win a race. They will look bad for various reasons in their shoes.

  23. Pedro Andrade
    29th July 2009, 19:08

    Hey, has anyone noticed a big team quit the sport today? ;)

    1. Seriously? Which one? ;)

      1. Pedro Andrade
        29th July 2009, 22:46

        I believe it starts with a B, but it probably doesn’t matter anyway. :)

  24. oh my god!

    …It’s going to be interesting if he does better than kimi!

    1. Massa always do that.

      1. Hardly

        1. Sometimes.

  25. I am very surprised, I have to wonder why he bothered retiring if he’s not going to stick to it.
    Quiting while still at the top with his health fully intact and F1 records held aloft seemed an intelligent decision to me. A lot of sportsmen fail in that area and quit only when there are people better than themselves or their fitness/health has deteriorated, either way their glory days don’t shine so bright as they exit.

    Saying that, for me he was F1’s greatest driver and I expect a high level of excitement and expectation with him back in F1, so personally it should be entertaining even if I think he is doing the wrong thing.

    Him and Hamilton battling could make for an interesting sight with both capable of being über aggressive.

    Role on Valencia

  26. Top 5 teams for 2010?

    Ferrari – Alonso, Shuey?? nah! ??? Kubica?
    Maclaren – Hamilton, Rosberg
    Red Bull – Vettel, Webber
    Brawn – Button, Senna
    Renault – Kubica/Heidfeld, Grosjean

    1. Rosberg wont be going to Mclaren! far to over rated! the rest of those sound good though… dont forget we have 3 more teams coming into F1 at the end of the year and i think they’ll be looking at getting some experience on side…

      Toyota are leaving 2 dont forget. i wouldn’t be surprised if heikki is still there next year even though he’s rubbish!

      1. Williams 4ever
        30th July 2009, 10:52

        heikki is still there next year even though he’s rubbish!

        – Are you McLaren Strategist to make that comment:-? The World knows, his car gets developments later than Lewis’s car and not to mention qualification fuel Compromise he has over Lewis every Q3 segment of Qualifiers.

        I Guess they must be leaving you out of those discussions

        1. no matter who gets the updates heikki is rubbish! you no it as well as i do! look at last years WDC where was heikki when hamilton had a ferrari breathing down his neck? oh yeah i forgot either he was walking back to the pits or fighting a redbull in 7th and now im talking about when he had the exact same car.

  27. Great stuff. I wonder what Kimi thinks…

    1. He doesn’t care about it

    2. You mean you wonder what Kimi’s pre-programmed response is? Im pretty sure he’s a cyborg…

    3. He’s probably off somewhere, having a “s***”.

      How would having Schumi in the car help raise the game for the entire team? He’s been there in an advisor capacity and that didn’t seem to help them much last year.

      I think he would probably do not much better than Kimi (i.e. middle of top ten during qualy and scoring points)