August 11, 2009
Schumacher Cancels Comeback!
Michael Schumacher issued the following statement on his web site:
"Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I'm not able to step in for Felipe. I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn't work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.
The consequences of the injuries caused by the bike-accident in February, fractures in the area of head and neck, unfortunately have turned out to be still too severe. That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by Formula 1 yet. This are the clear results of the examinations we did on the course of the past two weeks and the final examination yesterday afternoon. As there were no improvements after the day in Mugello, I decided at short notice on Sunday to do that thorough examination already yesterday.
I am disappointed to the core. I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans which crossed fingers for me. I can only repeat that I tried everything that was within my power. All I can do now is to keep my fingers crossed for the whole team for the coming races."
Conspiracies theorists must already hard at work and inexplicably it will be Luca Badoer who will take Massa's seat at the European GP in Valencia. I'm not sure how F1 will fare for the rest of this season. More comments and reactions after the jump.
Thing is, rumors of the possibility of his neck injuries from the Superbike accident (photos HERE) have been persistent since the announcement of his return but it's inevitable that many will now wonder if this has to do with his realization that he just not able to be competitive, maybe he could not get his weight down enough (remember this year even the diminutive current F1 drivers have been on diets). Many questions will probably never be answered.
One question I and many Ferrari fans will have is why Badoer? Sure he has done a tremendous job testing with the team and he must be quite a talented driver but as a racer, let's be frank, he's been nowhere. Then why not use the opportunity to a young hungry driver, perhaps one like 18 year old Mirko Bortolotti who last winter broke the Fiorano lap record?
A huge missed opportunity by Ferrari, an opportunity a young, forward looking team like say, Red Bull, would not have missed.
Norbert Haug (Mercedes) "Health comes first. It's a big disappointment for all those who rejoiced at the news of Michael's return but health is a priority there is no doubt about it. It was clear from the beginning that his return was dependent on the medical results"
Ralf Schumacher: "This is obviously very, very sad. But when Michael and the doctors decide it is the only right decision. The risk, if something happens, it would surely have been too large. With fractures, especially in the area of cervical vertebrae is no joke.."
Alex Zanardi: " His decision to come back seemed to be one take with the heart first and the brain later, the one to renounce taken more with the brain than with the heart"
Willi Weber (manager) "It is a great pity. I was very pleased with the comeback, as we all. But health comes first. Michael was totally fit, that would not have been a problem. But after the first test rounds, there were no improvements in the area of neck muscles. He could, if one third of the normal training Coucil in this field study. The motorcycle accident in February was the worst accident, in which Michael had his motorsport career."
Lewis Hamilton "I was pleased about the possibility of Michael's return to Formula 1. He is one of the greatest competitors - a legend - and it would be an honor and a privilege to have raced against him"
Adrian Sutil "Very sad for all the fans and also for the Formula 1 The euphoria and anticipation was great and made us all happy for him. "
Jochen Mass "I'm not unhappy about it. Because the risk that he will lose from this story, was relatively large. I am relieved that has not happened.
Luca di Montezemolo "I am very unhappy that a problem means that Michael cannot return to racing, In the past few days, I could appreciate his great efforts and extraordinary motivation which had spread through the team and fans around the world. No doubt his return would have been good for Formula 1 and I am sure it would have seen him fighting for wins again.
(comments via Bild and Gazzetta dello Sport)