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Page last updated at 13:36 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 14:36 UK

Schumacher sad at F1 abandonment

Schumacher frustrated by injury

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher has spoken of his sadness at being forced to scrap his proposed comeback on medical grounds.

He had been set to deputise for Ferrari driver Felipe Massa after the Brazilian was hurt in a crash in Hungary but a neck injury thwarted the German's plan.

"No simulation can produce the demands an F1 car puts on the body, so we needed to test to find out," he said.

"We did everything in the most prepared way possible and it didn't work out."

Schumacher stunned the world of F1 when he announced he would return to fill in for Massa.

Ted Kravitz

Massa's accident occurred in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix after a spring from fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car hit his helmet.

Massa was travelling at more than 160mph when the spring hit him but pressure on the brakes reduced his speed to about 60mph when he hit the tyre wall.

He was initially seriously ill but he is recovering well and has flown home to Brazil.

The problem that scuppered Schumacher's return to the track three years after he retired was a neck problem sustained in a motorbike crash earlier this year.

The injury meant Schumacher was unable to withstand the intense strain experienced when driving an F1 car.

The 40-year-old said there was no way he could have prepared any better for a possible return because of the unforeseeable circumstances that had brought it about.

I don't feel like thinking too much about the future right now

Michael Schumacher

"Nobody knew we had this tragic accident from Felipe, so it wasn't planned at all," stated Schumacher.

"I don't think there was any other chance to do it any other way."

When asked if the injury ruled out any other possibility of a future comeback, Schumacher suggested it was not something he was considering at the moment.

"Speculation in this business is pretty natural and lots of people have opinions but the matter of fact is I'm very disappointed not to do what I was looking to do," he added.

"It's certainly not something I'm thinking about right now as I just had to take a very tough decision to say no to what I wanted to do - I don't feel like thinking too much about the future right now."

In the absence of Schumacher, Massa's place on the grid will be taken by Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer, 38, whose last competitive drive in F1 was 10 years ago.

But Schumacher is confident Badoer is up to the job.

"He has prepared himself quite strongly to be ready for all these years - this is his main job, to be ready for testing as well as in case something happened, so he's not been sitting quietly around waiting," said Schumacher.

"He works very hard since the accident of Felipe as I said I needed to confirm that I could do it [fill in for Massa], so it's normal for him to keep himself on the fitness level he would need.

"He has not been racing for a long time but a racer doesn't normally lose the racing spirit, so I wish him well for a difficult task."

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see also
Schumacher calls off F1 comeback
11 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari fume at rivals' test snub
05 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Massa leaves Brazilian hospital
04 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Schumacher makes shock F1 return
29 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Schumacher's career in photos
29 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Michael Schumacher profile
02 Oct 06 |  Drivers

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