Schumacher Comeback Only Days Away From Confirmation
The comeback of Formula One’s most successful driver Michael Schumacher now looks to be just a matter of hours away.
The German driver will be racing for the Mercedes Benz GP team in a shock come back, the first time he will have raced since quitting the sport at the end of 2006.
Schumacher, who will be 41 at the season start, ended his career after a record number of World Championships, wins and pole positions. He has been working for his team, Ferrari, since retirement as a special consultant however it is understood he has been released from the role within the team.
He almost made a Ferrari comeback part way through last season, when it appeared he would drive in place of injured Felipe Massa but a motorcycle accident sustained earlier in 2009 put pay to that drive, Schumacher had injured his neck.
Now all Mercedes Benz are waiting for is a 100% health confirmation, which could come through within hours or just a matter of days and then announce a deal with Michael – a contract which could potentially have a record salary.
Fans of Ferrari will be no doubt disappointed that their prodigal son and hero Schumacher will be leaving the team, some have branded him a “traitor” already.
“I hadn’t spoken to him since Abu Dhabi but I spoke to him yesterday (Wednesday),” Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo told a news conference yesterday evening.
“He phoned me and he told me that there is a very, very, very strong possibility [of racing for Mercedes-Benz]. Having said that, it is not 100 per cent decided. But that is what he said yesterday morning.”
“A guy called Michael Schumacher told us at Monza (in September) he would renew his (Ferrari consultancy) contract,” Di Montezemolo said. “And it looked like his career would finish with Ferrari.
“But then there’s another one who looks like him, 40, 41 yrs old, German, same name and decided to do a new career.
“Everybody in life can do what they prefer, and I understand that there is somebody at 41 years who wants to try again.
“So I think it’s possible this twin, another Michael Schumacher, same age, same capability, some determination and spirit, will drive for Mercedes next year.”
Montezemolo added that as a friend, he was glad to see Schumacher return and would be rooting for him. He also part acknowledged the Ferrari fans unhappiness towards the move, but stated he was happy to see Schumacher in a Mercedes.