August 11, 2009

Slappy's Out!

Retired seven-time World Driving Champion Michael 'Slappy' Schumacher has called off his comeback.  Tabbed to replace the injured Felipe Massa, Slappy hadn't been behind the wheel of a F1 car since early 2007.  After a 67-lap test in the F2007 last week, he had severe neck pain.

Today it was revealed that his neck pain has not responded to treatments and that the motorcycle accident in February that injured the neck in the first place was somewhat worse than previously known.  Slappy had suffered "fractures in the area of head and neck" in the crash.  The amazing g-force loads experienced by a F1 pilot exacerbated the injuries, and instead of risking further damage or not obtaining medical clearance right before the upcoming European Grand Prix at Valencia, Slappy decided to end his comeback.

"I am disappointed to the core. I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans who 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."

To be honest, if Ferrari had let the severity of Slappy's injuries be known, the news of his comeback wouldn't've been hailed as such a wonderful thing, but with skepticism.  As it was, Slappy's physical fitness was already in question, even without knowing all the details of the injury.  There's no question Ferrari knew how bad the injury was, so either they honestly believed that a 40-year old with a broken neck who hadn't sat behind the wheel of a F1 car in three years could recover and drive well... or this was all just a weird publicity stunt.

I'm leaning towards the first, but I can't completely rule out the second.  After all, this IS Formula 1 (and Ferrari) we're talking about here.  There's been stranger things done.

Ferrari has named team test driver Luca Badoer to take over driver duties for Valencia, which is now looking like the least interesting race ever.  No Schumacher, no Renault (pending review of their suspension), no hometown hero in HWMNBN, and a frankly boring track?  Yeesh.

UPDATE:  Luca Badoer's highlight in Formula 1 probably wasn't even in a race, but at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:12 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 388 words, total size 3 kb.


*Reaching for a box of Puffs Tissue*


Very disappointing news!  However, given the injuries he has been dealing with, it's probably for the best.


Posted by: Mallory at August 11, 2009 09:32 AM (WJ2qy)

2 But good on Luca, you have to admit. He's probably the hardest working man in F1, and he got screwed out of a Ferrari sub ride once before in 1999 when they put Mika Salo in one of the cars instead of him. It'd be cool for Luca to get that ever-elusive F1 point and see all that work he's put in for 12 years pay off.

Posted by: Shawn at August 11, 2009 10:48 AM (Un6qA)

3 For the record, Luca Badoer has 48 F1 starts, and has earned a grand total of zero points.

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 11, 2009 11:32 AM (VosBh)

4 Who was he driving for?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 11, 2009 04:28 PM (+rSRq)

5 Nobody good.  He's actually going to become the first driver ever to drive for all four Italian teams:  Minardi, Scuderia Italia, and Forti Corse being the other three.

When Minardi is the best team on your resume, you've got troubles.

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 11, 2009 04:39 PM (VosBh)

6 Dear polish originated Duck...

That video is in polish

And so am I

Posted by: Simon at August 11, 2009 07:08 PM (ubxSL)

7 A pleasant, but unplanned, bonus, Simon.

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 11, 2009 07:31 PM (VosBh)

8 Autoblog mentioned "famously broke down in tears alongside his car after it failed to take him to a fourth-place finish at the 1999 European Grand Prix". I thought it was Sutil's schtick.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 12, 2009 11:35 AM (/ppBw)

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