As if to underline that nothing is ever predictable in Formula One, Ferrari announced Wednesday evening that Michael Schumacher is to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa at the forthcoming Grand Prix in Valencia and beyond.
With Massa out of action due to the injuries sustained in qualification for the Hungarian Grand Prix and making a strong recovery, the rumour mill had been rife with speculation as to who would take over the F60 cockpit alongside Kimi Raikkonen as the Brazilian recuperates.
Indeed, no less than 13 drivers had been linked with the drive amongst reports that the 40-year old seven-time champion was not interested in resurrecting his career with the Italian champions.
"We have said before that it is possible that Michael Schumacher could return to help us out," head of communications Luca Colajanni said ahead of the official announcement.
Schumacher last competed in the sport in 2006 where he finished second to Fernando Alonso in the standings, having secured no less than seven victories to add to his tally of 91 wins.
"Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro intends to put Michael Schumacher in Felipe Massa`s car until the Brazilian driver will be able to race again," the team stated.
"Michael Schumacher said he is ready and over the next few days will undertake a specific training programme at the end of which confirmation will be given of his participation in the championship with effect from the European Grand Prix on the 23rd of August."
A controversial figure despite his massive success in Formula One, Schumacher will be the centre of attention later this month as the series regroups following the summer break.
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