Schumacher Uncertain to Return for Malaysia

Thursday September 30th, 1999

Shortly after Eddie Irvine told German newspaper Bild "I can become world champion but only with Michael Schumacher's help," The Ulsterman's hopes have taken a blow, when Schumacher himself said he is not certain to return to racing this season at all. Schumacher is scheduled to run at full race trim next week at Fiorano, but the German now says that "these test drives are no guarantee that I will be able to start in Malaysia as well."

Furthermore, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said he was rather pessimistic about Schumacher's return for the coming Malaysian Grand Prix. "I have spoken with Michael and the chances that he will start in Malaysia stand at about 50%," said di Montezemelo. "But he can hardly expect it to get any better and nor do I. The pin in his right leg is causing him problems. It is pressing on the nerve and causing him pain."

Schumacher, however, expressed belief in Ferrari's ability to recollect itself after the European Grand Prix debacle. "They are humans and not robots, and as a result make mistakes. In Malaysia, Ferrari will be very strong and if Eddie doesn't make any mistake he has a good chance of taking the title. The competition is still open, we saw the mistakes of McLaren, Hakkinen is not sure of himself and has made a lot of blunders. Because of this I strongly believe that Ferrari still has all the chance."

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