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At least now we know he'll have no excuses: Michael Schumacher says his neck is completely healed after last year's motorcycle incident, and he feels "extremely fresh and fit." The three-year sabbatical he's had since retiring at the end of 2006 has recharged his batteries and his competitive fire.

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.

There are hearts breaking all over Italy, and the biggest one of all is that which beats in the chest of Ferrari head Luca de Montezemolo. Michael Schumacher is still under contract to The Prancing Horse as a global ambassador and consultant for their road cars. However, given the opportunity to return to a Formula One cockpit and prove a thing or ten, he appears keen on racing no matter the color of the car.

At this past weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, the Brawn cars didn't just beat McLaren – they lapped them. With both teams running the same Mercedes engines, and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton piloting the lapped McLaren, it was clear that Brawn is simply running a better car. Anyone watching the race had to be wondering what the corporate big-wigs at Mercedes were thinking as the Brawn cars crossed the finish line a full lap ahead of the McLaren. But we can stop wondering now.

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