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Friday, October 8, 1999 Published at 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK


Schumacher announces U-turn

Schumacher will be back in the scarlet car after all

Ferrari have confirmed that Michael Schumacher will compete in the last two races of the 1999 F1 season.

Less than a week ago the Italian team said the German was putting off his comeback until the new millennium.

But on Friday Schumacher completed a u-turn and announced that he was to return for his first race since breaking his leg at Silverstone last July.

"After three days of intensive testing at Mugello and Fiorano, Michael saw that there had been a big improvement in his physical condition," said a Ferrari statement.

"Therefore he has decided to take part in the two final and very important races of the season, to give the maximum support to Ferrari in the fight for the championships and to fulfil the wishes of the team and all the fans."


[ image: Irvine will hope Schumacher's return will mean more champagne]
Irvine will hope Schumacher's return will mean more champagne
The final two races in Asia start with the first Malaysian Grand Prix in two weekends time.

The German's decision to return and support Eddie Irvine's world title bid should be a major boost to the Northern Irishman as he bids to become Ferrari's first world champion for 20 years.

There had been speculation that the 30-year-old would find it intolerable to have to help Ferrari's number two driver Irvine grab the glory before he leaves for the Jaguar tean next year.

But Irvine has said that his title chances depend on the German's return.

The 33-year-old will now hope to have some favours returned by the double former world champion.

Ferrari are also firmly in the hunt for the constructors' crown, and are sure to make more of an impact on McLaren with Schumacher back for temporary replacement Mika Salo.





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