Schumacher 'would consider' sub role - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Schumacher 'would consider' sub role

F1 | ITV Sport

Schumacher 'would consider' sub role

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 12:55

Michael Schumacher’s official spokeswoman has said the seven-time world champion would consider stepping into the injured Felipe Massa’s race seat at Ferrari if called upon by the Maranello team.

Massa suffered a fractured skull in an accident in Hungary last Saturday and doctors do not expect him to race again this season, although that judgment remains provisional until the extent of Massa’s injuries are clearer.

In any event Massa will not be fit to compete in the next grand prix in Valencia on August 23, and Ferrari is therefore expected to appoint a substitute driver alongside Kimi Raikkonen.

Schumacher’s spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told BBC Sport that the 40-year-old German would consider any approach from Ferrari, but emphasised that it would be up to the team to make the first move.

“The whole thing will be considered by Ferrari,” Kehm said.

“If they approach Michael, then he will consider it.

“But there is no reason for him to step into their discussion.”

Ferrari’s chairman Luca di Montezemolo said on Monday that the Scuderia was in no hurry to choose a replacement for Massa and that the long break before Valencia gave it plenty of time to reach the right decision.

Schumacher retired from Formula 1 at the end of 2006 but has tested Ferrari’s grand prix cars several times since and is still contracted to the team in a consultancy role.

In recent interviews he appeared to rule out a return to the sport’s front line, but his spokeswoman said a temporary comeback in the current circumstances was conceivable.

“Usually, I would say he's not interested because he’s fine with his life and he doesn’t miss anything but now the situation is so different,” she said.

Kehm added that the scenario remained “very hypothetical” and Schumacher “doesn’t want to step into that [discussion]”.

Schumacher was one of the fittest drivers in F1 history and still trains regularly, but suffered a minor neck injury after crashing while testing a Honda superbike in February.

“I really can't tell you if his neck would be fine to drive an F1 race,” said Kehm.

“If Ferrari asked him whether he would consider driving, he would have it checked – and remember he is a 40-year-old man, too.”

Ferrari’s other options for a substitute driver appear limited.

Spaniard Marc Gene, 35, and 38-year-old Italian Luca Badoer are the team’s long-serving test drivers, but neither has recent F1 race experience.

Gene filled in for injured Williams driver Ralf Schumacher in three races in 2003 and 2004, but Badoer has not competed in a grand prix since 1999 when he raced for Minardi.

Fernando Alonso is widely expected to join Ferrari in 2010 and there has been conjecture that the Spaniard might even take over Massa’s seat in Valencia later this month since his own team, Renault, has been excluded from his home event for failing to secure a wheel on his car at a pit stop during the Hungarian GP.

Renault is appealing its Valencia suspension, however, and would be unlikely to want to relinquish its prize driver to one of its main rivals in the middle of the season.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 05:54 AM
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Considerable TV ratings difference between Schumie getting back in the cockpit (ratings through the roof) and Gene or Badoer.
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