FIA president Jean Todt's prediction that Michael Schumacher would not be idle for long [ see separate story
] could be proven true a little sooner than even the Frenchman thought.
According to Todt, Schumacher would not be able to resist the lure of competition for long, and would 'be back racing something within a couple of years', despite having called time on his F1 career for the second time at the end of the 2012 season. Now, according to reports in Spain, the seven-time world champion could be about to prove his former Ferrari boss right by returning to his roots.
It has already been revealed that Schumacher's retirement would involve a development role with the Tonykart factory, but it now appears that the German could be playing a much bigger part in its 2013 campaign.
According to Spain's El Mundo Deportivo
newspaper, the 44-year old looks set to be drafted into the Tonykart frontline after setting impressive times while testing alongside the rest of the squad at Lonato in Italy. Schumacher reportedly covered in excess of 200 laps without a problem and his lap times in the KZ class machine were said to be 'very good'.
If true, the move would return Schumacher to the Tonykart team with which he made his name as a youngster, and complete a formidable line-up which already includes multiple world champion Marco Ardigò, as well as Rick Dreezen and Mirko Torsellini.
Schumacher's first retirement from F1, which lasted for three seasons between 2007-09, saw him dabble in motorcycle racing. While he showed promise on two wheels, however, a testing accident in Spain left him with neck injuries that initially cast doubt over his F1 return after Mercedes came calling for the 2010 campaign.
Although he subsequently proved his fitness by completing three seasons with the Silver Arrows, Schumacher was never able to find the sort of form that carried him to seven world titles with Ferrari and Benetton, and managed just one podium finish, in Valencia in 2012, before being forced to call it a day for a second time when the Brackley-based team swooped to sign Lewis Hamilton as team-mate to Nico Rosberg for 2013.
Schumacher's interest in karting will also see him getting involved in designing an all-new international facility close to Cologne in his native Germany.