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Schumacher calls off Formula One comeback 11 Aug 2009

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari signs autographs for the fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 4 April 2009 Michael Schumacher (GER) tests a Ferrari F2007 at Mugello, Italy. July 31, 2009. © Ferrari

Michael Schumacher has revealed he won’t return to Formula One racing at the European Grand Prix later this month. Schumacher had planned to replace the injured Felipe Massa for Ferrari at the Valencia race, but has been forced to cancel his comeback due to pain in his neck, which was caused by a motorcycle accident earlier this year.

“Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and team principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I'm not able to step in for Felipe,” explained the seven-time world champion in a statement on his official website. “I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn't work out.”

Last week Schumacher completed a one-day test in an F2007 to evaluate his fitness levels and prepare for the race. Although he covered 67 laps of Ferrari’s Mugello circuit in Italy and declared himself pleased with his pace, the neck injury flared up again and subsequent treatment has failed to ease his discomfort.

“Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private Formula One day in Mugello, even if medically and therapeutically we tried everything possible,” he added. “The consequences of the injuries caused by the bike-accident in February, fractures in the area of head and neck, unfortunately have turned out to be still too severe.

“That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by Formula One yet. These are the clear results of the examinations we did on the course of the past two weeks and the final examination yesterday afternoon. As there were no improvements after the day in Mugello, I decided at short notice on Sunday to do that thorough examination already yesterday.

“I am disappointed to the core. I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans who crossed fingers for me. I can only repeat that I tried everything that was within my power. All I can do now is to keep my fingers crossed for the whole team for the coming races."