Deal confirmed; Schuey eyes 2010 title
23 December 2009

Michael Schumacher has signed for the Mercedes-Benz Formula One team, and has already set his sights on challenging for the 2010 world title.

Schumacher's F1 return comes after three years in retirement, having stopped racing in F1 at the end of 2006. He will be 41 in January.

Schumacher's career in pictures

Schuey's return: what do you think?

Schumacher said: "The motivation is pretty straightforward. I got a call from Ross (Brawn, team principal) at the beginning of November asking me to race again, telling me Mercedes were going to be involved.

"I've never left the race track, and after three years I regained the energy I'm feeling now. After playing around on motorbikes, I'm ready for the serious stuff."

Germany's Bild newspaper is reporting that he has signed a one-year deal with options for a further two years depending on performance. Schumacher has said he and Mercedes are "talking about a three-year deal."

Schumacher is reported to be earning seven million euros (£6.2m) - a relatively modest salary compared to the sport's highest earners, such as Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, who reports suggest could be earning two to three times as much.

Last season he came close to a sensational mid-season comeback when he was asked to fill-in for the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari.

However, those plans were scuppered by a neck injury that he had picked up in a motorcycle crash earlier in the year. He says that injury is no longer a problem.

He said: "Before giving the final okay, I had to make sure my neck was okay. It wasn't okay in the summer, but it's had the time to heal completely."

During his previous 16 seasons in the sport, Schumacher contested 249 grands prix, breaking virtually every record in the sport. He has won the most world titles (seven); most race victories (91); most pole positions (68); highest number of wins in one season (13 in 2004); number of consecutive podiums (19); wins from pole (40); fastest laps (76); hat-trick of pole, win, fastest lap (22), and most number of consecutive results in the points (24).

Asked if he was worried about putting his reputation on the line by returning, Schumacher replied: "I hope they will judge me on what I've done before.

"Brawn is a team that won both championships last year, they now have a strong partner in Mercedes, so the only aim is to go for the championship."

Schumacher revealed that he had consulted wife Corinna on his comeback.

"I had to sort out my personal situation before entering this new one," he said. "She could see the spark in my eyes, and so she didn't really argue."

Schumacher's move to Mercedes GP marks a reunion between himself and the German car maker that helped push him into F1.

He raced for Mercedes-Benz as part of its junior driver programme, competing in world sportscar events during 1990 and 1991.

Schumacher's decision means that Mercedes GP will field an all-German driver line-up in 2010, having already confirmed several weeks ago that Nico Rosberg will race for it.

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Join the debate

Comments
17

23 December 2009

About bloody time!

23 December 2009

[quote rosstopher]

About bloody time!

[/quote]

Dead right!

I was very sick of the whole saga.

I haven't missed him one bit in the last few seasons, the racing has been brilliant and clean.

He won't just have to beat a Hakkinnen, a Hill or an Alonso this time round, he's got more than one or two half decent drivers in good cars that he needs to take on.

He needs to beat Lewis, Felipe, Fernando, Sebastien, Jenson, Mark and if they let him race, Nico. They all should be in competitive (Close together) cars next year.

Then there Kubica, if the Renualt is any good......

Merc GP have to prove they can develop a car over a season, they failed in that last year, which could be the reason why Jenson left.

We don't need Schumacher back "improve" anything.

In my opinion we don't need the bumper car driver from Kerpen back at all

23 December 2009

Oh Happy New Grand Prix Year !

23 December 2009

[quote Richard H]Merc GP have to prove they can develop a car over a season, they failed in that last year, which could be the reason why Jenson left. [/quote]

Plus, they had the best car on the grid, that's why he won.

[quote Richard H]

He won't just have to beat a Hakkinnen, a Hill or an Alonso this time round, he's got more than one or two half decent drivers in good cars that he needs to take on.

He needs to beat Lewis, Felipe, Fernando, Sebastien, Jenson, Mark and if they let him race, Nico. They all should be in competitive (Close together) cars next year

[/quote]

25 other drivers actually, not just 6 ;-)

23 December 2009

has the economic downturn hit schumis wallet? is this the reason of his return! will be glad to see him back but it wont be in a red car :(

23 December 2009

1. Whether he can challenge for the title or not we'll see from the winter testing

2. It's clear he can only drive a car designed by Brawn's influence.

-------- 

I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

23 December 2009

[quote Richard H]

Merc GP have to prove they can develop a car over a season, they failed in that last year, which could be the reason why Jenson left.

[/quote]

Brawn/Mercedes were never really that interested in re-signing Button, and why would they be when you can get the real deal for less money?

Plus he will drive fast all season long and not just when the car suits him. Meanwhile, Button in the second McLaren will struggle to see which way Hamilton went.

23 December 2009

[quote TheOmegaMan]It's clear he can only drive a car designed by Brawn's influence[/quote]

Well, he was also very fast in a Gary Anderson-designed Jordan 191, a John Barnard-designed Ferrari F310, and on occasion, a Nicolas Tombazis-designed Ferrari F2007 and F2008.

Maybe if Ferrari had wanted him instead of Raikkonen or Alonso for the last few years, he would be very fast in the F2010 as well. He would also probably have been WDC in 2007 and 2008...

23 December 2009

The Return of the King. I wouldn't right off Schumacher. We already know that athletes are fitter for longer these days. Lothar Matthaeus and Teddy Sheringham being two examples. Teddy was playing top flight football until he was 40 years old.

Also he seems to be in a lot better shape than Mansell was when he tried to make a comeback.

But as has already been mentioned he's has got about 10 very good drivers to compete with and Brawn/Merc may not be able to get a competitive car together.

23 December 2009

[quote TheOmegaMan]2. It's clear he can only drive a car designed by Brawn's influence.[/quote]

This isn't true OmegaMan, approve of some of his tactics or not Schumacher was fast in machinery that had no right to be winning races (one example Spain 1996, the car was rubbish and not even firing on full cylinders, in heavy rain he lapped 5sec quicker than anyone else and lapped the field).

Schumacher was quick enough to make many of his peers look a bit daft, just hope he still is as it'll be fascinating to see how he compares to Hamilton and Vettel if he still has that pace.


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