Schumacher spurred on by previous aborted return

Michael Schumacher has revealed that this summer s failed comeback inspired him to make a return to Formula One with Mercedes GP.

The German had been lined up to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa from last season s European Grand Prix, but was forced to remain on the sidelines due to a prolonged neck injury.

However the seven-times champion claims that the feelings he experienced at the time were a catalyst in reigniting his desire to race once more.

“Until recently, I was absolutely sure that I had ended my career as a race driver at Ferrari,” Schumacher wrote on his official website.

“But sometimes things change suddenly and unexpectedly. All of a sudden, the framework conditions aren’t the same anymore. At that point, you have to reconsider the decisions you’ve made. And, to tell the truth, the failed comeback attempt last summer gave me reason to reconsider my situation.

“I was surprised myself how fast and how strong I committed myself to this topic again. Apparently, my batteries recharged completely during the last three years. And when – thanks to Ross [Brawn] – the opportunity arose to drive for Mercedes GP, I realized that my old motivation was back, full of fresh energy and great force.”

Schumacher also moved to quash any doubts surrounding the condition of his neck claiming: “Physically, I feel absolutely fit. I already realised in [the] summer how fast I achieved my former performance values by exercising specifically. And ever since, I kept on exercising. My neck is absolutely free of complaints. I can now do the same neck work-out as I did when I was still racing.

“This wasn’t possible in summer because back then only five months had passed since my accident and so my neck wasn’t cured completely. In the meantime this isn’t a problem any more.”

The German also said that he was sad to leave Ferrari after years of success with the Italian manufacturer.

“Ferrari and I have been working together for 14 years and I’ve experienced a lot of great moments with the team during this time,” he said.

“Most of my life as a Formula 1 driver is ‘red’ and so there is strong solidarity and loyalty to these guys who have accompanied me and have always built great cars for me. This solidarity will remain, even though our teams will be competitors on the race track – because I’m certain that Ferrari will regain its former strength since the crew is really strong and committed.”