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Schumacher to make shock Formula One return

Michael Schumacher has announced that he is set to make a sensational return to Formula One with Ferrari in the place of the injured Felipe Massa. The seven-times world champion turned 40 this year and has not driven competitively since the Brazilian Grand Prix back in October 2006.

However, Schumacher will now get back behind the wheel for the European Grand Prix in Valencia at the end of August. Ferrari confirmed the news in an official statement earlier today. "Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro intends to put Michael Schumacher in Felipe Massa's car until the Brazilian driver will be able to race again."

The statement continues: "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."

The former world champion spoke about his comeback through his official website while also paying tribute to Massa who is recovering well from the injuries he received in the freak accident during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe is positive, and I wish him all the best again," Schumacher wrote. "This afternoon I met with (team principal) Stefano Domenicali and (president) Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe."

"Though it is true the Formula One chapter has been closed for me for some time, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore this unfortunate situation. But as the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge."

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