Well after weeks and even months of speculation, what we all knew was about to happen has happened. Michael Schumacher has signed a 1 year deal to drive for Mercedes alongside fellow German Nico Rosberg for the duration of the 2010 season. They will team up with Schumachers former boss and multiple time championship winning crew chief and car owner in Ross Brawn, so if I was the rest of the field I think I would be looking over my shoulder right about now...
This is some of the biggest racing news I can remember in a long time. There is no getting round it-Michael Schumacher is the greatest driver in the History of the sport and he boasts a record of 91 grand prix wins and 7 world championships in the greatest open wheel tour in the world. This return I'm sure will have mixed reactions within the paddock itself. Ferrari are reported to be pleased for Schumacher, and after all he did win them 5 constructors titles so maybe they can give him 1 last bow. Other teams and drivers though I'm sure will be less impressed.
Fernando Alonso I'm sure will be mildly pleased to race with Schumacher again, but I'm sur ein the back of his mind, Schumachers dominance of old will be plaguing him. And lets not forget Kimi Raikkonen. After winning a world championship and being unbelievably competitive for years, Kimi has found himself out of a ride and in the World Rally Championship instead. Throughout his career, Kimi has never really enjoyed Schumacher's presence, confounding that with his comments on the grid at Schumacher's final race where he told BBC (then ITV) commentator that he was "having a sh*t" when asked if he'd watched Pele presenting Michael with an award. Raikkonen I'm sure will be upset that he is not on the grid and his old rival is.
As for the majority of the field, I 'm sure most of them will be delighted. Nico Rosberg gets to partner the greatest driver ever. Lewis Hamilton, Sebastean Vettel,Sebastian Buemi, Jaimie Alguesauri, Timo Glock, Nico Rosberg, Lucas Di Grassi and many others have never had the opportunity to race competitively against Schumacher, and after all of the speculation over his return towards the end of last season, they will very excited to be on the same track as Schumacher.
All of this being said, why is Schumacher coming back? His life was made, he had won 7 championships and then stepped into what looked a very cushy "consultancy" role for Ferrari. Is it just one long ego trip to try and rekindle the days of old? Possibly, but in my view, Schumacher genuinely wants to win another championship, and after seeing what Mercedes could offer him, he clearly feels that the Mercedes Petronas team can give he and young Nico Rosberg a legitimate chance of creating yet more F1 history. His competition will be fierce though. Ferrari have the freshly recovered Felipe Massa and the mercurial Fernando Alonso,the up and coming Red Bull squad have the man tipped as "baby Schumi" in the German press in Sebastean Vettel and his partner Mark Webber. Lets not forget the all British McLaren squad consisting of the 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and the 2009 World Champion Jenson Button...there is Rosberg and Schumacher as mentioned and then hopefully several others.
This in my opinion is great news. I have watched and loved F1 since I was a baby, and that love is still there today. Michael schumacher was and still is one of my heroes, and to see him step back into the cockpit is fantastic. Feel free to give your opinions below, and lets just hope that no "back problems" stop this comeback. Schumacher is now fully healthy and barring an absolute disaster, he will be in a 26 car field when we head off to Bahrain on the 14th March.