Schumacher returns to Formula One

Formula One motor racing legend Michael Schumacher is to get back behind the wheel next year after signing a one-year contract with Mercedes GP.

The move signals the end of three years in retirement for the seven-time champion.

Schumacher celebrates his 41st birthday on January 3, which easily makes him the oldest driver in the 2010 championship.

The German said: "The motivation is pretty straightforward. I got a call from Ross (Brawn, team principal) at the beginning of November asking me to race again, telling me Mercedes were going to be involved.

"I've never left the race track, and after three years I regained the energy I'm feeling now. After playing around on motorbikes, I'm ready for the serious stuff."

Schumacher was poised to make a comeback with Ferrari in the summer to fill in for the injured Felipe Massa, but had to back out because of a neck injury which he now insists is not a problem.

"Before giving the final okay, I had to make sure my neck was okay," he said.

"It wasn't okay in the summer, but it's had the time to heal completely."

During his previous 16 seasons in the sport, incorporating 249 grand prix races, Schumacher managed to break virtually every record.

He has won the most world titles; most race victories (91); most pole positions (68); highest number of wins in one season (13 in 2004); number of consecutive podiums (19); wins from pole (40); fastest laps (76); hat-trick of pole, win, fastest lap (22), and most number of consecutive results in the points (24).

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