• Aug 5, 2009
Michael Schumacher's return to Formula One could be in jeopardy due to a neck injury the seven-time World Champion sustained while testing a motorcycle in Spain earlier this year.

According to a (awkwardly translated) release from Schumacher's spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, "It is not sure yet the neck will hold and the comeback can be started."

Schumi's physical fitness has been tested over the past week as the 40-year-old racer prepares to replace Felipe Massa for the duration of the 2009 F1 season, beginning with the European Grand Prix in Valencia on August 23.

"I'm currently in the midst of my preparations for the upcoming race. I already lost three kilograms even if it is also important to me to build up muscles." Schumacher said on his official site yesterday, "So all in all, the practice works pretty well. I only have to admit that my neck pinches a bit."

It's unclear if and/or when the FIA will sign-off on Schumacher's physical fitness, although we'd expect an announcement sometime late next week.

[Source: BBC]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      hopefully neck will hold and comeback can be started
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't doubt that Schumi's injury could affect his performance, but do you really think the FIA is going to turn him (and the associated surge in attendance) away?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hell no they won't.

        If Schumi is willing to live with it, they'll let him race.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bet a contract for a full time ride with Ferrari for next year will cure that neck right up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What do you think F1 is, a go cart series? And more to the point, you have no clue about the fact that Schumi doesn't have anything left to prove. I can bet you any money that he won't come back in (or ask for a) seat in a Ferrari F1 next year.

        This is a one time deal, promotional at best, and 'for the fun of it' for Schumacher. Ferrari is already losing bigtime, so it's a nice way for him to get some F1 time again, nice marketing for Ferrari and nice marketing for F1. That's about it.

        I think you underestimate what it takes to be sharp as a razor and ultra focussed the whole year long, especially for someone that age. Not to mention that Ferrari won't take any chances for next year, and that there are far younger talents around (vettel?) who will be looking for a seat. Especially with BMW and possibly mercedes gone.

        Also, don't overestimate what he can do this year. No F1 competition ritme for 2 years, older, and Ferrari is not doing good at the moment. It's hilarious to read all the comments that make it look like some kind of Rocky story and that he will take first places again. Not everything out there is Hollywood
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought the Stig was made of titanium?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unfortunately it was just his balls that were made of Titanium, and not his neck!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Some people say...
      • 5 Years Ago
      There's no way the FIA won't license him to race. Bernie's wetting himself over the projected surge in attendance and TV viewership increasing the already huge amount of money he makes and he'll be campaigning heavily to make sure Schumacher's racing. The only one who will keep Michael out of the car is Michael himself, if he honestly thinks he won't be able to do it justice. But be real, it's Michael Schumacher. He's going to race.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I laugh at people who say racing isn't physically demanding.

      Yeah, maybe not street racing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        maybe open wheel racing..but honestly how does being in shape help a driver turn a gradual left all the time (nascar).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, I'm not fan of NASCAR, but I'm exhausted after driving the SUV from Flagstaff to Phoenix down the twisty I-17 on a Sunday. Wife, two kids, Sunday drivers, and the prospect of getting a speeding ticket is fatiguing.

        By the way, Schumi will race. He's just putting out some propaganda in case he doesn't do too well. It's been awhile and there is alot of expectation - not for the championship or even the constructor's championship. People just expect him to win since he is the 7 time world champion. I just hope he doesn't pull a Schumi and bump a few folks out of the way while going for the lead.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not a fan per se, but try being in a 140* car in a full fire-proof suit and helmet on banking for 3+ hours. If that's not demanding, I don't know what is.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It has everything to do with fitness. The amount of fluids these guys lose during races, the heat, the concentration, everything requires fitness. I'd say moreso than open wheel racing, myself. And that's not downing open wheel racing at all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @axlewood: Dude, you don't know what you're talking about. I just raced this past weekend with NASA at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. We are road racers, so we use the sports car set up which uses the front straight and turns 1 & 2 of the NASCAR oval then turns into the infield course. All in all, we're driving on about 55% of the oval. We run 35 minute sprint races, not 3 hour long 500 milers. My Mazda GT-2 car (ST-2 class with NASA) goes through turns 1 & 2 on the oval at around 145 mph. The NASCAR guys are doing 195 before turn in at turn 1. The amount of g-forces working on you is incredible. That and the amount of courage it takes not to lift is remarkable. It's not just turning slightly left. That's a completely ignorant way of looking at it. You put in quite a bit of steering input to get the car turning in, then you pucker up your you-know-what and try not to lift as you go through 1 and 2. It is no way easy and if you tried it you'd have a lot more respect for what the NASCAR guys do. And the heat, coupled with 3 hours in the car, puts an incredible strain on your body. Now try it with 42 other cars doing 195 mph competing for the same piece of track, inches apart. Like I said, I road race and I'm no big fan of NASCAR, but I have huge respect for what those guys do and anyone who doesn't is either ignorant, stupid, or both.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i wasn't bashing the sport. Just giving my opinion. You don't need to be an athlete to drive a nascar car. Yes. You need to have good driving skill, etc...but that has little to do with fitness.
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