According to a breaking report, Michael Schumacher has signed a one-year contract with Mercedes GP. The signing took place today at the team’s headquarters in Brackley, Northamptonshire, UK. According to a report in The Times, Mercedes will pay Schumacher 7 million euros for the season, roughly the same amount they had budgeted for Jenson Button. No details were given for a possible option for a second year.
As recently as a few months ago, Schumacher was still recovering from an injury sustained in a motorcycle accident, and thus, he was unable to substitute for Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who was recovering from a crash at the Hungarian GP. Apparently, Schumacher’s neck has fully healed, however, which removes the final remaining obstacle to his active competition next year.
Moreover, while some have suggested that Schumacher would be willing to take a supportive role in the team, mentoring the younger and less experienced Nico Rosberg, much as he did with Felipe Massa at Ferrari, the current reports indicate that Schumacher wouuld be entering the fray in a fully competitive spirit, determined to augment his record with another world title. His current tally stands at seven drivers’ championships, 91 race victories and 68 pole positions.
According to the Times report, people close to Schumacher have indicated that the German ace has already begun a fully competitive training regimen in anticipation of the coming season. Likewise, he has already been involved in detailed discussions with Mercedes engineers regarding next year’s car.
Schumacher is nothing, if not methodical. It’s no wonder that Luca di Montezemolo was anxious to put him in a third Ferrari next year.