Seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher is set to return to the sport for the European Grand Prix in Valencia after Ferrari confirmed that the German driver is its choice to replace the injured Felipe Massa.

Schumacher, the most successful driver in the history of the sport, quit F1 at the end of the 2006 season but will now come out of retirement to make a comeback as Massa continues to recover from the injuries he sustained in his accident at the Hungaoring.

In a short statement, Ferrari revealed that Schumacher will shortly begin a specific training programme, which will be followed by confirmation that he will partner Kimi Raikkonen in the Spanish race.

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The news comes just a day after Schumacher's manager Willi Weber said he was '200 per cent sure' that the most successful F1 driver of all time wouldn't be on the grid in Spain.

However, Schumacher said he 'couldn't ignore the unfortunate situation' that Ferrari now finds itself in following Massa's accident and has agreed to make a return after meeting with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and team boss Stefano Domenicali.

"The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe are positive," Schumacher said. "I wish him all the best again.

"I was meeting this afternoon with Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe. Though it is true that the chapter Formula 1 has been closed for me since long and completely, it is also true that for loyalty reasons to the team I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation.

"As the competitor I am, I very much look forward to facing this challenge."