It's been reported by several news outlets, including the BBC and formula1.com, that Michael Schumacher will make a surprise Formula 1 return, replacing the injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa who sufferd a fractured skull in Hungarian GP qualifying last week. The incident occurred after he collided with a spring that had come off another car. The freak accident may put him out of action for the rest of the year.
The 40 year-old, seven-time world champion, who retired at the end of 2006, will replace Massa at the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain on August 23.
Schumacher had remained an advisor at Ferrari following his retirement and is still closely involved with the team. According to the BBC, he had said; "For team loyalty reasons, I can't ignore this unfortunate situation." However, it's thought he's unwilling to return to F1 on a regular basis, but is prepared to substitute during Massa's recovery.
"The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe is positive, and I wish him all the best again," reported formula1.com.
Unfortunately, the current F1 ban on testing means Schumacher won't be able to drive the '09 Ferrari F60 chassis before practice begins on August 21. However, there can be little doubt Schumacher won't have lost his magic behind the wheel. In fact, it will be fascinating to see how he measures up to the current crop of F1 drivers and deals with some of the measures first introduced to prevent another driver dominating the sport they way Schumacher had during his career.