Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Michael Schumacher Is Back For More

It's confirmed! 7-times former F1 champion, Michael Schumacher had come out of retirement to put his name on the dotted line for a one-year deal to drive for the Mercedes GP Petronas F1 team next season.

Schumacher signed the deal at the team's Brackley office in England on Tuesday, after months of speculations. The deal is worth 7 million euros (USD 9.9mil/RM35mil) with option to extend beyond 2010.

With their new and latest signing, Mercedes will parade an all-German line-up having earlier recruited another German, Nico Rosberg.

More stories here and here.

(Updated) Reactions to Michael's return:

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, 2008 world champion for McLaren:

“It’s great to have Michael back in Formula One. He is a legend and a really nice guy, and I am happy for him that he has once again got an opportunity to do the best job in the world, race in Formula One.

“I used to watch Michael race when I was in the junior categories, and I always hoped that I would be in Formula One while he was still around. I’m really looking forward to seeing him on the track and back at the top.”

Nico Rosberg, Schumacher’s Mercedes team mate:

“It is fantastic that Michael is returning to Formula One and will be my team mate. It’s a great challenge for me to be up against one of the best drivers of all time. I’m sure that we will form a very strong partnership as he will have lost none of his speed.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal:

“Michael’s outstanding record in Formula One speaks for itself and I am looking forward to working with him again. With the completion of our driver line-up, I believe that we now have the most exciting partnership in Formula One with Michael and Nico, who provide the perfect mix of talent, experience, speed and youth.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes motorsport vice-president:

“Seven world championship titles, more than any racing driver, 91 grands prix wins, more than any racing driver. Michael has more of everything than every other driver.

“Our sporting ambition has always been that Michael should drive again where his professional career had started and Michael knew that. We often joked about it after the races and discussed the prospect seriously several times during the last 14 years in Formula One.

“It didn’t happen in 1995, it didn’t happen in 1998 and it didn’t happen in 2005. I am delighted that it will now happen in 2010.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal:

“I think I share the sentiment of every single Formula One fan across the world by saying that Michael Schumacher’s return to the sport is fantastically exciting and a thrilling prospect for the 2010 season.

“I’ve no doubt that Michael has studiously examined this opportunity from every possible angle, and that he’s convinced he still possesses the same fearsome drive and determination required to succeed in Formula One.

“Obviously, Michael is a seven-times champion and has absolutely nothing left to prove, so it will be fascinating to see what he can achieve in a new team.”

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