By Dialogo July 30, 2009 Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher is making a sensational return to Formula One, Ferrari announced. The German motor racing legend, who retired in 2006, will replace injured Felipe Massa in the European Grand Prix in Valencia on August 23, and possibly for the remainder of the season. ‘The Ferrari-Marlboro team plans to give Michael Schumacher Felipe Massa’s car until the Brazilian returns to competition,’ Ferrari announced in a statement on its website carried by Italian news agency Ansa. The statement added: ‘Michael Schumacher says he is available and in the coming days he will pursue a specific programme of preparation at the end of which it will be possible to confirm his participation in the European Grand Prix.’ Schumacher, 40, commented: ‘Ultimately I like challenges and this is a great challenge.’ ‘The important thing is that Massa gets better,’ he continued, adding that he ‘just wanted to help the firm (Ferrari) when they needed it’. Schumacher, who last test drove for Ferrari in April last year, was pleased, though, that the most recent update on the unlucky Brazilian was encouraging. ‘The most important thing first thank God, all news concerning Felipe (Massa) is positive,’ he was quoted as saying on the official Formula One website. ‘I wish him all the best again. I was meeting this afternoon with (Ferrari team chief) Stefano Domenicali and (Ferrari president) Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe. ‘Though it is true that the Formula One chapter has been completely closed for me for a long time, it is also true that for reasons of loyalty to the team I cannot ignore this unfortunate situation. ‘But as the competitor I am I also very much look forward to facing this.’
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