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Schumacher Neck Injury Prevents Return

by F1Fan on August 11, 2009

For the past week rumors have circulating that Michael Schumacher’s return to F1 may be in question due to a neck injury suffered in a Motorbike accident earlier this year.

Unfortunately those rumors appear to have been true and earlier today Michael Schumacher issued the following statement:

“Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I’m not able to step in for Felipe. I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn’t work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.

The consequences of the injuries caused by the bike-accident in February, fractures in the area of head and neck, unfortunately have turned out to be still too severe. That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by Formula 1 yet. This are the clear results of the examinations we did on the course of the past two weeks and the final examination yesterday afternoon. As there were no improvements after the day in Mugello, I decided at short notice on Sunday to do that thorough examination already yesterday.

I am disappointed to the core. I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans which crossed fingers for me. I can only repeat that I tried everything that was within my power. All I can do now is to keep my fingers crossed for the whole team for the coming races.”

Ferrari has also issued a Statement confirming that Schumacher would not be in the car for the European Grand Prix:

Maranello, 11th August 2009 – With Michael Schumacher now being unavailable to stand in for Felipe Massa, as from the forthcoming European Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro announces that car number 3 will be driven by Luca Badoer.

“I am very unhappy that a problem means that Michael cannot return to racing,” commented Luca di Montezemolo. “In the past few days, I could appreciate his great efforts and extraordinary motivation which had spread through the team and fans around the world. No doubt his return would have been good for Formula 1 and I am sure it would have seen him fighting for wins again. In the name of Ferrari and all the fans, I wish to thank him for the strong attachment he displayed for the team in these circumstances. In agreement with Stefano Domenicali, we have therefore decided to give Luca Badoer the chance to race for the Scuderia after he has put in so many years of hard work as a test driver.”

It remains to be seen If this is just a temporary set back for Ferrari and Schumacher, it could be that with further training his neck will be strong enough to allow him return later this season, but from the tone of Michael’s statement and the description of his injuries it doesn’t seem likely, so the storybook return of the greatest F1 driver in recent times is not going happen, no matter how many F1 fans would love to see otherwise.

When one door closes another opens, that door has just swung wide open for Luca Badoer, the European Grand Prix will be his great opportunity to show the world that he deserves a race seat in the Ferrari Formula One Team.

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