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He’s back! That’s right, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher will make his return to the pinnacle of motorsports next year, driving for Mercedes-Benz. The German will join fellow countryman Nico Rosberg in representing Mercedes on the grid, starting March 12th at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“It is a new chapter in my racing career and I am really looking forward to working with my old friend Ross Brawn and my companions from my days with the Mercedes Junior Programme,” said Schumacher in an interview. “I am convinced that together we will be involved in the fight for the Formula One World Championship next year and I am already looking forward to getting back onto the race track. For me, this partnership closes the circle. Mercedes supported me for so many years when I began my Formula One career and now I can hopefully give something back to the brand with the star.”
Schumacher returns to the sport after a planned comeback last year failed. He had intended to race in place of injured teammate Filipe Massa, but injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident prevented that from happening. Schumacher now says he is fully recovered.
Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in 2006 after seven world championships and 91 overall wins. At the first race of the season, Schumacher will be 41, almost double the age of many just entering the sport.
The Mercedes team that he joins is actually the Brawn GP team (headed former Ferrari and Benetton technical director Ross Brawn), which was purchased by Mercedes in the off-season, after clinching the championship in its first year. The connection with Brawn has always been a strong one – and a successful one. Along with Schumacher’s five wins at Ferrari under the leadership of Brawn, his two other World Championships came at Benetton with Brawn at the helm.
When asked about Schumacher’s accomplishments, Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports said that, “Michael has more of everything than every other driver.”