Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is coming out of retirement to drive for Mercedes in 2010.
The 40-year-old German driver, who retired three years ago, confirmed his comeback on Wednesday.
“Three years of absence gave back all the energy that I’m feeling right now,” Schumacher said in a telephone conference. “I feel ready for some serious stuff.”
“I believe I can be absolutely competetive,” he said.
Schumacher had planned a short-term comeback with Ferrari last season to fill in for the injured Felipe Massa, but he had to call that off due to a neck injury from a motorcycle accident.
“The neck is no further issue,” Schumacher said Wednesday.
Schumacher will partner Nico Rosberg in an all-German team for the 2010 season.
Pairs up with Brawn again
A move to Mercedes reunites him with team principal Ross Brawn, who was part of each of Schumacher’s championships.
Mercedes took over the Brawn GP team that won the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in its first season in 2009, having picked up the remnants of the Honda team when the Japanese car maker pulled out of the sport. Jenson Button, who won the drivers’ title had since left for McLaren while Rubens Barrichello had departed for Williams.
Rosberg, signed as a potential No.1 driver for Mercedes, would find himself cast into Schumacher’s shadow in the all-German combination, but still welcomed the boon to the sport by a comeback by its greatest ever driver.
Schumacher, who turns 41 on Jan. 3, is F1’s most successful driver with 91 race wins in a 16-year career.
“It’s a human interest story of someone who is 40 years old coming back to race ... it would be amazing,” Mercedes chief executive told the Associated Press last week. “Can someone (win the championship) at that age? Absolutely.”