Ferrari's Schumacher fear

FERRARI bring back Michael Schumacher to bolster Eddie Irvine's World Championship challenge this weekend with as much anxiety as optimism.

FERRARI bring back Michael Schumacher to bolster Eddie Irvine's World Championship challenge this weekend with as much anxiety as optimism.

The return of Schumacher for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix was trumpeted as a triumph against the odds after the German had said he was not sufficiently recovered from a broken leg to race again this season. Schumacher denied yesterday, however, that he is still unhappy about racing and was manoeuvred back into competitive action by Luca di Montezemolo.

The Ferrari president dispatched a doctor to provide a second opinion on his £15m-a-year driver. The doctor's conclusion was that Schumacher need not necessarily miss the final two rounds of the championship. Three days of testing in Italy last week reportedly convinced Ferrari that the German was fit enough to race.

"I have heard stories Di Montezemolo is making me drive but I am independent enough to make my own decisions," Schumacher said.

An interview given by Schumacher's manager, Willi Weber, puts a different complexion on the double champion's comeback. He said: "What happens if Michael has another accident? He won't only be compromising his health, but also next season."

Many Formula One observers have suggested all along that Schumacher would be reluctant to assist his team-mate, Eddie Irvine. He went to Ferrari four years ago to deliver the championship and saw it as his destiny. The Ulsterman was hired as his No 2, a role he fulfilled for three and a half years until Schumacher's accident, at the British Grand Prix, three months ago. Now the positions are reversed and Irvine is expecting Schumacher's support.

Ferrari have put themselves into a difficult and potentially self-destructive situation. It remains to be seen if Schumacher is willing to commit himself in the way they palpably demand. "I am first of all driving for the team and not in the interests of Eddie," Schumacher said yesterday. "The only way I can help him is if I am directly in front of him - then I will let him by, that is very clear. But if that is not the case he will have to manage on his own."

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all