Schumacher to make F1 comeback

Michael Schumacher has shocked Formula One fans by announcing he will come out of retirement to replace Ferrari's injured Felipe Massa.

Schumacher, who won five of his seven world championships with Ferrari, has not raced competitively since the Brazilian Grand Prix in October 2006.

The 40-year-old, who has been acting as an advisor to the Italian car maker of late, will race in the European Grand Prix in Valencia on August 23.

A statement from Ferrari said: "Michael Schumacher said he is ready and, over the next few days, will undertake a specific training programme at the end of which confirmation will be given of his participation in the championship with effect from the European Grand Prix on the 23rd of August."

Schumacher is relishing the chance to come to Ferrari's aid in their hour of need after Massa fractured his skull in a freak accident on Saturday in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Speaking on his official website on Wednesday, he said: "Though it is 1 the Formula One chapter has been closed for me for some time, it is also 1 that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore this unfortunate situation."

Copyright © Press Association 2009