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Neck injury wrecks Schumacher comeback

BERLIN, August 11 – Former world champion Michael Schumacher has called off plans to return to Formula One racing at the European Grand Prix in Valencia on August 23 due to a neck injury, he announced on his website on Tuesday.

SCHUMI_The 40-year-old German, who won the world title seven times before retiring in 2006, had been primed to replace the injured Felipe Massa in the Ferrari team for the race in Spain and possibily for the rest of the season.

But he injured his neck in a motorcycle accident in February and medical tests showed that he had yet to fully recover.

"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," Schumacher said on his website.

"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 door for a sensational Schumacher comeback to the sport he dominated for so long was opened when Brazilian Massa sustained serious head injuries during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest on July 25.

That ruled him out for the rest of the season and the Italian team immediately turned toward their former top driver to step in.

His planned comeback to racing added more spice to what has already been a dramatic season, but was not welcomed by all, especially Formula One rivals Williams, who invoked rules and regulations to block his testing Ferrari’s current car ahead of Valencia.

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That would have left him desparately short of practice for the race, but as it turned out it was physical more than mechanical reasons that spoiled his return.

"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," he said.

"That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by Formula 1 yet. 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."

Ferrari announced that the team’s test driver Luca Badoer would take the place of Schumacher replacing Massa for the European Grand Prix.

The 38-year-old Italian has competed in five Grands Prix during his career, the last being in 1999.

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  1. 2logicstudios

    August 11, 2009 at 11:47 am

    This charade is indicative of the chaotic situation on Ferarri and other formula one big teams. Schumi should just stay retired. he has nothing more to achieve.

  2. Bernard Kitur

    January 8, 2013 at 8:37 am

    A very good report. We in Kenya need to learn lessons from these peaceful elections and the role all citizens of Ghana played in the whole election process. Kenyans need to come out of our tribal cocoons and try to work together as a people and country for the common good of all of us. Kenya belongs to all the over 41 tribes and State House is not the preserve of certain tribe or individual! Any Kenyan who qualifies to be among the top leaders of this country is free to carry out peaceful campaigns, asking Kenyans for support and election to the top office. This thing of rejecting others just because they do not come from our tribe, needs to stop. We need to cultivate an atmosphere of inclusiveness and the need for peaceful co-existence as Kenyans, ridding ourselves of the hatred we have against others who are not from our tribes. Kenyans need to stop taking each other for a ride. We need to be honest with one another. We need to accept each other as brothers and sisters of one nation called Kenya. Let us not destroy ourselves and our country, because of our hatred and selfishness. God help us to elect leaders who are capable of uniting the country and people of Kenya, and who have the people and country of Kenya at heart. God bless us.

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