Mike Stevens | Aug 12, 2009

GERMAN MICHAEL SCHUMACHER has called off his proposed Formula 1 comeback after succumbing to a neck injury which inflamed while testing in Mugello.

Schumacher had hoped to overcome the problem, but following a medical examination, the seven-time World Champion was ruled out of a comeback at Valencia.

The 40-year-old will be replaced by Ferrari’s veteran test driver Luca Badoer, who has been employed by the Italian outfit for 10 years.

In a statement on his website, Schumacher revealed he is yet to fully recover from a neck fracture he suffered earlier in the year.

“The consequences of the injuries caused by the bike-accident in February, fractures in the area of head and neck, unfortunately have turned out to be still too severe. That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by Formula 1 yet,” he said

“This are the clear results of the examinations we did on the course of the past two weeks and the final examination yesterday afternoon. As there were no improvements after the day in Mugello, I decided at short notice on Sunday to do that thorough examination already yesterday.

“I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn't work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.”

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Schumacher’s replacement, Badoer hasn’t competed in a Formula 1 event since the 1999 Japanese Grand Prix, when he drove for Minardi, his 48th race start.

Despite racing at the elite level for three seasons, Badoer is yet to score a championship point, earning him a rather dubious honour as the driver with the most race starts to never score a point.

His best race finish was seventh at the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix.

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