Schumacher is back!

Michael Schumacher returns to F1

Headlines around the globe are announcing the return of, who many consider to be the world’s greatest ever Formula One racer, Michael Schumacher.

Although, interestingly, there is just a brief statement on the Ferrari website which states rather coyly:

Maranello, 29 July 2009 – “Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro intends to put Michael Schumacher in Felipe Massa’s car until the Brazilian driver will be able to race again. Michael Schumacher said he is ready and, over the next few days, will undertake a specifc training programme at the end of which confermation will be given of his participation in the Championship with effect from the European Grand Prix on the 23rd of August.”

However, it does seem certain that the seven time world champion will return to the F1 starting grid in just a few weeks. Of course, the ban on in-season testing means Schumacher cannot get behind the wheel of Ferrari’s F1 car until Friday practice at the European Grand Prix, to be held in Valencia, 21-23 August. It will be his first start in Formula One since the end of the 2006 season.

In related news Felipe Massa is expected to make a full recovery after his horrifying incident in qualifying at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Although, it remains unclear if he will be able to return to racing this season. If so, that would leave Schumacher to fill in for seven races.

By their standards, Ferrari’s season to date has been dreadful. But, after Kimi Raikonnen’s strong showing last weekend, where he finished second, it looks as though Ferrari are on the improve. Will we see Schumacher on the winner’s podium again?

[More: BBC, Formula1.com, FoxSports.com.au, TimesOnline | Image: AFP]