Schumacher won't race, Badoer instead UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Michael Schumacher has called off his sensational return to formula one.
The seven time world champion, who retired in 2006, recently said he would step in out of "loyalty" to replace the injured Felipe Massa.
He tested a 2007 car at the end of July and was set to conduct two more days in the F2007 this week at Mugello, as concerns lingered about the health of his neck that he injured in a motorcycle testing crash in February.
Schumacher, 40, said on his official website michael-schumacher.de on Tuesday morning that he told Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali the bad news on Monday night.
"I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret, it didn't work out," said the German.
Schumacher confirmed speculation that he actually sustained fractures "in the area of head and neck" in the February fall.
"That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by formula one yet," he explained. "I am disappointed to the core. I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans which crossed fingers for me.
"I can only repeat that I tried everything that was within my power. All I can do now is to keep my fingers crossed for the whole team for the coming races," said Schumacher.
Ferrari said on Tuesday that test driver Luca Badoer will instead drive Massa's car in Valencia and beyond.
"We have decided to give Luca Badoer the chance to race for the Scuderia after he has put in so many years of hard work as a test driver," said president Montezemolo.08/10/09 (GMM) Michael Schumacher's manager has called a halt to production of memorabilia and merchandise celebrating the return of the seven time world champion to formula one.
According to Germany's Auto Bild, Willi Weber fears a repeat of 1997, when he spent a million euros on merchandise celebrating Schumacher's first title for Ferrari, when in fact he was pipped at the post by Jacques Villeneuve.
This time, the fear is that while Schumacher intends to fill the injured Felipe Massa's cockpit in Valencia and beyond, there are growing doubts about the health of his neck.
"As long as the return is not one hundred per cent for certain, we are producing nothing," said Weber.
It is rumored that Schumacher may even have fractured a bone when he hurt his neck in a motorcycle testing crash in February. zzzz
"It was a very bad accident," his spokeswoman Sabine Kehm told Sunday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung, "but we are not going to talk about it in public."
It is a believed a decision about the 40-year-old's Valencia return will be made some time this week.
"Only when all the test results are available can we make a decision," said Dr Johannes Peil, of the Bad-Nauheim Sportklinic. "The last word will be Schumacher's," he added.