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Every cloud has a silver lining

NEWS STORY
30/07/2009

While BMW's withdrawal from F1 yesterday got the forums and message boards going, it was the news that Michael Schumacher will stand in for Felipe Massa that sent the internet into overdrive.

While some fans argue the 7-time champion is in a lose/lose situation, others feel he will give a season which appeared to be flagging - much like Brawn GP's challenge - a much needed shot in the arm. Indeed, on the Pitpass forum one member rightly says that the German has a mathematical chance of winning the title.

One man who will be absolutely delighted to see Schumacher back on the grid is Bernie Ecclestone, along with his partners at CVC, not to mention race organizers at Valencia and some of the other less popular tracks due to host Grands Prix in the latter stages of the season.

With Schumacher lined up alongside three other World Champions, taking on Hamilton and Vettel for the first time and in equal equipment to Kimi Raikkonen, the world and his dog will tune in for the European Grand Prix, while many fans who would previously have given the venue a miss are now sure to be making urgent plans to attend the event.

Despite a strong start to the season, with Brawn's challenge steadily losing momentum and the sport continuing to make it into the headlines for all the wrong reasons, many fans were beginning to lose interest.

As an example, it is worth noting that on the night of the British Grand Prix, 7.1 million viewers tuned in to BBC's Top Gear, while earlier in the day 5.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the race. Worth noting is the 'fact' that in that night's episode of the motoring entertainment show, Michael Schumacher was 'un-masked' as 'The Stig'.

Ecclestone and CVC are no doubt already salivating at the thought of the global viewing figures for Valencia. As we said, every cloud has a silver lining.

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