Ecclestone hails 'comeback kid' Schumacher


LONDON, Dec 24 – Formula One ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone has predicted a "jaw-dropping season" as "comeback kid" Michael Schumacher takes on McLaren's dream-team of Lewis Hamilton and world champion Jenson Button.Seven-time world champion Schumacher stunned Formula One by coming out of retirement to sign a three-year, 30-million-dollar deal with Mercedes, a decision expected to spark a surge of interest in the sport in 2010.

"It’s fantastic for Formula One that he turned into a comeback kid," Ecclestone told the official F1 website.

"But at the same time it’s good for Michael. When drivers have put in many years they sometimes lose focus and motivation – probably that was one of the reasons for his retirement in 2006.

"But now he has again put all his strength together and has a 100 percent motivation level that will give us many exciting races in 2010. I always said Formula One is a strong brand. It has demonstrated time and again it can pull itself up by its own bootstraps.

"All indications point to a jaw-dropping season. Fans will love it."

Despite turning 41 on January 3, Ecclestone believes Schumacher will be a candidate to wrest the world title off Button when the season starts in Bahrain on March 14.

"Forget about winning races – I have him on my bill for winning the championship," said Ecclestone.