Monday, 10 August 2009

Schumacher steps up F1 training


Michael Schumacher will intensify his preparations for his comeback to Formula 1 by driving a F2007 Ferrari in a special two-day test this week.
The 40-year-old plans to deputise for injured Felipe Massa at the European Grand Prix in Valencia on 23 August.
Schumacher is understood to be paying for the session at Mugello in Italy as he battles to prove his fitness.
The seven-time world champion must pass a medical before he can stand in for Massa when practice begins in 11 days.
Schumacher is set to fill in for the Brazilian while he continues his recovery from the serious head injuries he suffered during qualifying for the Hungarian GP.
But the German, who retired at the end of 2006, is having to be inventive in his preparations as he will not drive a 2009 specification Ferrari until first practice begins in Valencia.
Michael is a human being, and we have to make sure everything is fine
Michael Schumacher's spokeswoman
Ferrari had asked the other nine teams and the sport's governing body, the FIA, to allow Schumacher a day at the wheel of the F60 but Williams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso turned down their request, insisting the ban on in-season testing must stay intact, as the FIA rules dictate.
Schumacher has already spent a day driving a 2007 F1 car at Ferrari's Mugello test track but complained afterwards that his neck "pinched a bit".
He has now arranged to borrow the 2007 car from the Italian marque's historic division to fine tune his fitness.

Schumacher says he has lost three kilos since announcing his return
The key issue for the 40-year-old will be coping with the strain on his neck produced by the high G-Forces.
Schumacher's spokeswoman Sabine Kehm raised concerns over his fitness last week, particularly as he hurt his neck during a motorbike test in Spain in February.
"It is not sure yet the neck will hold and the comeback can be started," she had said.
"It depends on medical investigations. Only after those will it be clear whether he will be able to drive.
"Michael is fully geared up, and fully on it. He has been for a week now. But he is a human being, and we have to make sure everything is fine."
Schumacher spent two days last week gearing up for his return by taking part in kart testing in northern Italy alongside Ferrari reserve driver Luca Badoer.
"We had two very good karting days," Schumacher said on his website. "Arms, upper body, shoulders, neck - an excellent practice indeed."
Whilst the rest of the F1 drivers enjoy their mid-season break, Schumacher has embarked on a rigorous training regime, resulting in him losing more than six pounds in weight.
"I'm currently in the midst of my preparations for the upcoming race," added Schumacher.
"I've already lost three kilograms even if it is also important for me to build up muscles. So all in all, the practice is going pretty well.
"I only have to admit that my neck pinches a bit.
"We have to get a grip on that as my health is the priority - that's the clear arrangement made with Ferrari and with my wife too."
Schumacher has also topped up his preparations by visiting Ferrari's factory to use their simulator and familiarise himself with the steering wheel controls of the F60.
Seven-time world champion Schumacher won five championships with Ferrari and had been working as a consultant for the Italian team before his decision to come out of retirement to stand in for Massa.
The German, who claimed his other two drivers' crowns with Benetton, has entered 250 grands prix, winning a record 91 of them.

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