Mercedes lure Schumacher back

Michael Schumacher is certain to make his Formula One comeback with Mercedes' new team in 2010 his fellow countryman Timo Glock said at yesterday's launch of the new Virgin Racing team. And as Ferrari made it clear that they will not hold Schumacher to the consultancy contract he has held since his retirement from racing at the end of 2006, the whispers about his return were turning to shouts within the Formula One world.

"The flame is still there, it's still burning," said Glock, the former Toyota driver who will be partnered at Virgin by the Brazilian rookie Lucas di Grassi, "and it will be great if Michael returns. For me, it is quite obvious he is coming back. There's still a lot of speculation, but in the end he is a crazy race driver and he wants to come back to racing. It's not enough for him to just do kart races, or to go to the Race of Champions at the end of each year."

Ferrari's president, Luca di Montezemolo, scotched suggestions that the Italian manufacturer would not release Schumacher from his contract yesterday: "It is not binding. It is clear that if he decides to take another road our agreement will no longer be valid, that is logical. You can't work with a competitor and with us at the same time. But I still haven't spoken to Michael about it. He is only a dear friend, not a team member."

Schumacher tried to return in July as stand-in for Ferrari's injured Felipe Massa, but his neck, injured in a motorcycle race in February, proved unable to withstand the high G-forces imposed by an F1 car. It is now believed that these problems are behind him, and he recently won one of the kart races organised by Massa in Brazil. Though the cornering forces are lower in a kart, it is clear that his competitive spirit is undiminished.

It is also thought that events in his personal life have made him consider a return to his "comfort zone" of wheel-to-wheel competition.

There has been no reaction from Schumacher's representatives beyond a spokeswoman's comment last month: "Michael is enjoying his life. A return to Formula One is not a subject for debate at the moment." But it may be telling that fellow countryman Nick Heidfeld, believed a likely candidate for the second Mercedes seat alongside Nico Rosberg, was also hedging his bets as a possible driver for Lotus until they announced their pairing of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen on Monday.

Recently Germany's Bild newspaper reported that Mercedes have formally offered the seven-time world champion a relatively modest salary of €7m (£6.3m) to join their line-up. Any contract, however, is likely to be subject to a clause that Schumacher first completes a successful test in January.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum