Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Schumacher Returns To F1

The greatest. The king. The 7-time world champion. Schumi. Michael Schumacher is making a Lance Armstrong-esque comeback. Well, sort of.

Schumacher retired in 2006. He had spent his last years at Ferrari, winning 5 world championships with them. Since his retirement, Schumi has been an advisor to Ferrari. That is, until Felipe Massa was involved in a horrible accident last week when a spring from a Brawn car came loose and as Massa approached a series of turns the spring bounced off the pavement and pierced his helmet just above the left eye, knocking Massa unconscious at the wheel of a car traveling around 150 mph. Massa crashed into a tire wall and was immediately taken to the hospital. Having suffered a skull fracture and, perhaps, permanent damage to his vision, Massa will most likely not make a return to Formula One.

You can watch a video of the accident here.

Immediately, people were asking, who is going to replace Massa? Normally, a test driver would be promoted into one of the team’s two positions, but Ferrari’s test drivers were recently labeled crap drivers. Thus, all eyes have turned to Schumacher. At first he declined, saying he cannot drive, in competition, a car he isn’t very familiar with. That didn’t last long. I suspect pressure at Ferrari and Schumacher’s own desire to return to the sport contributed to his reassessment of the situation.

Starting with the European grand prix, Schumacher will, once again, be in a Ferrari on the starting grid. There is no telling from what position he will start, but I wouldn’t be all the surprised if he was near the front of the grid.

Although the circumstances for their respective comebacks are completely different, it is a good sporting year when you thought you would never again see the likes of Lance Armstrong on a bike and Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari, but then, like a wish come true, you get to see both back at the pinnacle of their sport within a month's time.

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