Hamilton excited by Schumacher return

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton is relishing the prospect of going head to head with Michael Schumacher next season.

The seven-time Formula One world champion confirmed his return to the sport after three years in retirement, signing a three-year deal with Mercedes GP.

"It's great to have Michael back in Formula One," said Hamilton, the 2008 world champion. "He is a legend, a really nice guy, and I am happy for him he has again got an opportunity to do the best job in the world - race in Formula One."

Hamilton has previously stated his biggest disappointment was being unable to compete against Schumacher in his debut season of 2007.

The German, who turns 41 in 11 days' time, called a halt to his 16-season career at the end of 2006, just a few weeks before Hamilton was confirmed as a McLaren driver for the following year.

But with Schumacher fit, after a neck injury had prevented a return with Ferrari in August, Hamilton cannot wait to take him on.

He added: "I used to watch Michael race when I was in the junior categories, and I always hoped I would be in Formula One while he was still around.

"I'm now really looking forward to seeing him on the track and back at the top.

"It's brilliant news, and I wish him my absolute best on his comeback with such a fine team and company as Mercedes-Benz."