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Official: Schumacher abandons F1 return

NEWS STORY
11/08/2009

In a move which will throw Ferrari's plans into chaos, not to mention damage ticket sales, Michael Schumacher has announced that due to ongoing problems with his neck he will not be in a position to return to F1.

In a brief statement on his website, the German writes: "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. I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn't work out.

"Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1 day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.

"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," he adds. "That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by Formula 1 yet. These are the clear results of the examinations we did over 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 have another thorough examination yesterday (Monday).

"I am disappointed to the core," he admits. "I am awfully sorry for the guys at Ferrari and for all the fans which 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."

It is unclear who the Italian team will get to replace Schumacher, who was standing in for the injured Felipe Massa. However, of its two official test drivers, Marc Gene is the more race ready having recently won the Le Mans 24-hour race.

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