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article imageSchumacher Returns To Formula 1 With Mercedes GP

By Tracey Lloyd     Dec 23, 2009 in Sports
Seven times Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion Michael Schumacher has confirmed he is returning to racing in 2010 with Mercedes GP.
Recently voted by his peers as the second best racing driver of all time, Michael Schumacher has confirmed that he will return to competitive Formula 1 racing in 2010. Schumacher has signed a contract with the Mercedes GP team, who as Brawn GP won the 2009 Constructors Title and World Drivers’ Championship with Jenson Button. Button left the team to become part of an all English line up at McLaren Mercedes with 2008 World Drivers' Champion, Lewis Hamilton.
Joining Mercedes GP means that Schumacher will again team up with Ross Brawn, the man with whom he won all seven of his World Drivers’ Championships; including five straight championships during Ferrari’s golden period of 2000 – 2004.
Upon retirement in 2006, Michael Schumacher had amassed a record seven Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championships and 91 Grand Prix wins across a career that spanned 16 seasons. His career was not without controversy, disqualified from the results of the 1997 season after a collision with Jacques Villeneuve, the Ferrari team orders controversy of the 2002 season and the deliberate crash during qualifying at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix.
Post retirement Schumacher continued to work with Ferrari as a consultant and was due to substitute for the injured Felipe Massa in the tail end of the 2009 season. A neck injury prevented Schumacher from taking part in any races however his competitive juices were rekindled and Mercedes purchase of Brawn GP led many Formula 1 commentators to speculate that a comeback would be occurring.
He will be 41 years old when the 2010 season starts in Bahrain on 12 March 2010 however Schumacher believes that Mercedes GP will be involved in the title fight; in a statement he said:
“Mercedes GP Petronas represents a new challenge for me both in a sporting and a personal context. It is a new chapter in my racing career and I am really looking forward to working with my old friend Ross Brawn and my companions from my days with the Mercedes Junior Programme. I am convinced that together we will be involved in the fight for the Formula 1 World Championship next year and I am already looking forward to getting back onto the race track. For me, this partnership closes the circle. Mercedes supported me for so many years when I began my Formula 1 career and now I can hopefully give something back to the brand with the star."
Schumacher was part of the Mercedes Benz Junior program and raced Group C sports cars and DTMs prior to entering Formula 1 with Jordan Grand Prix in 1991. Norbert Haug, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports said:
“Our sporting ambition has always been that Michael should drive again where his professional career 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 1. 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. I am very much looking forward to working with Michael and everybody at Mercedes-Benz and Daimler extends a very warm welcome to our ‘apprentice’ of 19 years ago. That apprentice is now the most successful racing driver of all time."
The signing of Michael Schumacher creates an all German line up at Mercedes GP with Nico Rosberg in the other Silver Arrows car. Ross Brawn has said that with Schumacher and Rosberg his team has “the perfect mix of talent, experience, speed and youth” and “the most exciting partnership in Formula 1”.
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