Domenicali rules out Schumacher return

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has ruled out the possibility of Michael Schumacher replacing Luca Badoer in the near future.

Schumacher was scheduled to fill the seat vacated by the injured Felipe Massa, but withdrew with a neck injury and will not be able to return to racing this year, according to his boss.

Domenicali was asked in a briefing today if he knew Schumacher was still training, as the German press have been reporting.

“I m pleased to hear it, but I can rule out the possibility that he might drive before the end of the season,” was his response.

Massa’s replacement Luca Badoer did not impress at Valencia, but Domenicali also made it clear that he would be given one more race at which to prove his worth – Spa, next weekend. Thereafter, Ferrari are left with precious few options, but it is thought they are looking for a potential replacement.

Schumacher, meanwhile, was clearly upset not to be able to drive the car last weekend at Valencia. He insinuated in interviews over the weekend that the decision to come out of retirement had not been an easy one, that he had made it nevertheless, and it was very difficult to then have the ability taken away from him.

Domenicali’s statement of today appears to put the lid on Schumacher’s return for good.