Lewis Hamilton has spoken of his delight at finally getting the opportunity to compete against Michael Schumacher, labelling it as an 'honour and a privilege'.

The reigning Formula 1 world champion will go up against the seven-time title winner at the European Grand Prix next month following the confirmation that Schumacher will replace the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari.

Hamilton made his Formula 1 debut in 2007, shortly after Schumacher decided to retire from competition, the Briton going on to speak of his disappointment at not being able to go up against the most successful driver of all time.

Nonetheless, having gone some way to turning a dismal defence of his crown around with victory last time out in Hungary, Hamilton is relishing the prospect of lining up alongside the German.

"He is one of the sport's greatest competitors, a legend - it'd be great to compete against him," the McLaren-Mercedes driver told BBC Sport. "The whole world will be watching his return to the cockpit in Valencia."

"It will not only be fascinating to see how he readies himself for his grand prix comeback, but also an honour and a privilege to race against him for the very first time. I wish him well."

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