All clearances given, the BBC is reporting that Michael Schumacher is officially a driver for the Mercedes-Petronas F1 team. The deal is understood to be a one-year agreement, with Schumacher being paid £6.2 million ($9.82M U.S.) and having an open door at the end of the year to carry on if it all works out.

Mercedes is said to have its eye on Sebastian Vettel when his contract is up in 2012. Theoretically then, if Michael remains Michael behind the wheel, he could drive for the Three-Pointed Star and collect trophies, and perhaps Championships, until then. That's an immense theoretical, however: Prost and Lauda took time off, came back, and won the whole show again; Jacques Villeneuve, well, not so much.

And as much as Ferrari respects the times it had with Schumacher, we have a feeling Luca di Montezemolo has already called Alonso to tell him, "You know what you have to do..." On the other hand, if Alonso doesn't work out at Ferrari, and Michael does well and only has a one-year deal with Mercedes...

[Source: BBC | Image: Clive Mason/Getty]

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