The dream is over. Michael Schumacher won’t race in Valencia after failing to overcome a neck injury sustained motorbike racing back in February.
Having experienced discomfort in his neck while testing over the last fortnight, Schumacher underwent a final examination at Mugello on Monday. His medical team concluded that he would not be able to cope with the physical stress of a full F1 race.
“We did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1 day in Mugello,” Schumacher wrote on his website today. “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 F1 yet. These are the clear results of the examinations we did on the course of the past two weeks and the final examination on Monday afternoon.”
Ferrari has announced that Schumacher’s seat will be filled by veteran test driver Luca Badoer. The 38-year-old Italian is the Scuderia’s longest-serving test pilot ever, and has competed in 48 Grands Prix since his debut in 1993 – sadly without ever scoring a single point. His last F1 race was very nearly a decade ago, in the 1999 Japanese Grand Prix.
“I am disappointed to the core,” said Schumacher. “I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans who crossed fingers for me.
“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.”
The seven-time world champion is clearly gutted… and so are we. We never thought we’d be sad to hear that Michael Schumacher wasn’t fit enough to dish out a whipping to the plucky Brits, but hell, we’re devastated.
Would’ve been a hell of a show, wouldn’t it?