Schumacher should be able to get new F1 license

UPDATE (GMM) The German motor sport federation Deutscher Motor Sport Bund (DMSB) has already sent off the application paperwork for Michael Schumacher's new formula one superlicense.

F1's governing body the FIA confirmed that even though the 40-year-old German is a seven time world champion, his mandatory superlicense expired at the end of 2006.

But it is believed receiving a new one is only a formality, given the clause allowing a driver to apply for a license if he has contested 15 grands prix within the past three year period.

"Under normal circumstances Michael Schumacher should get a superlicense," a FIA spokeswoman told the German news agency SID.

"So excited to see Michael Schumacher race again," cycling great Lance Armstrong, who recently pulled off his own sporting comeback, said on his Twitter page. "The greatest of all time!" the American added.

Felipe Massa's father also welcomed the news. "I am sure Felipe will be happy," Luiz Antonio said.

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport said Schumacher will prepare for Valencia in the Fiat driver simulator in Turin.

"The whole of formula one celebrates," the newspaper said of Schumacher's return.

Michael Schumacher in his Ferrari in 2006 in Germany

07/30/09 Michael Schumacher needs a new Formula One driving license if he is to race for Ferrari as Felipe Massa's replacement in next month's European Grand Prix in Valencia, motorsport's ruling body, the FIA, confirmed to German Press Agency dpa Thursday.

Seven-time world champion Schumacher last raced in F1 at the Brazilian GP on October 22, 2006 but according to a FIA spokesperson, an F1 license automatically runs out at the end of each year.

However, FIA regulations stipulate that a license can be issued in exceptional circumstances.

Article 5 of Appendix L states that a driver can be issued a license if he has competed in a minimum of 15 races in the previous three years. Schumacher would fulfill this requirement as the 40- year-old was in the Ferrari cockpit for all 18 races in the 2006 season.

Applications for a new license will have to be made to the Italian motorsport federation at least 14 days before the European GP on August 23.

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