F1 »

Ecclestone welcomes Schumacher return

Bernie Ecclestone has welcomed Michael Schumacher's decision to come out of retirement and fill the seat vacated by injured Felipe Massa, even though he admits that he did not believe that the German would do so, and insists that he should continue beyond his stand-in role.

Ecclestone told to reporters that he had been surprised to learn of the seven-time world champion's return, but claimed that he expected the German to be a factor in the European Grand Prix, in Valencia, in three weekends' time even without the chance to test one of the latest-spec F1 cars.

"I think I was just as surprised as [Schumacher's manager] Willi Weber, who didn't know he was coming back [either]," F1's commercial supremo told a press conference, "I think it was [Ferrari president] Luca di Montezemolo that convinced him."

Schumacher's return could also have further good news for Ecclestone, with the European Grand Prix expected to see a rise in attendance now that fans know the German will be on the grid - even though local favourite Fernando Alonso's Renault team appears set to be absent following its Hungarian GP indiscretion.

Not only will the event reunite Schumacher and Ferrari, but it will also pit him against Kimi Raikkonen - his replacement in retirement - in equal machinery for the first time. While rivalries with Fernando Alonso - should Renault win its appeal - and former team-mate Rubens Barrichello will be affected by the cars currently at their disposal, the race will also give 'young guns' like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel a first opportunity to tackle a driver who called time on his career before they entered the top flight, and Ecclestone is excited by the possibilities.

"He's always been super popular even though he won too many races and people said he was boring. He was never boring and he won't be boring now," he noted, "He obviously wouldn't have decided to come back unless he thought he was going to be competitive - Michael is a competitive guy, and I think he's going to give one or two of [the other drivers] a driving lesson."

With uncertainty surrounding Massa's comeback - even though the Brazilian insists he wants to return to F1 - Ecclestone revealed that he would love to see Schumacher stay on beyond the end of the season.

"I'd like to see him stay for a lot of seasons," he said, "Let's wait and see what happens in the next year - he might make a big decision. I see him winning again, for sure - I don't know why people are doubtful that he could. Yes, the car is not competitive, so I'd doubt anyone else could win in it, but if anyone can do it, Michael can. When he left, he left at the top, and that's how he's coming back."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 9th-11th May, 2008
Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F2007, Barcelona F1 Test, 13-15th, November, 2007
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


andrewm

August 05, 2009 10:58 AM

Bernie stating the obvious yet again. Schumacher was a factor in making F1 a major sport in Germany and he was at the pointy end of teh grid all through his F1 career (lowest championship position was 5th in 1999). Just look at how many folk post on any of the Schumacher related reports on here. Have to admit that Bernie has a point and lets face it, with the exception of 2 or 3, all the current drivers are dull as ditch water media darlings. No character at all.

Yohanes Sondang Kunto

August 05, 2009 9:00 AM

If he could regularly in point with mediocre Ferrari F60, then he is a 7 times world champion. If he could fight for podium, indeed, he is a super 7 times world champion. If he could win at least 1 race during 2009, what else I could say? One thing to be sure, he will make the young guns busy to watch out into their car mirror for Scarlet Machine attack driven by Schummy.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.