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Ferrari rule out Schumacher comeback

Seven-times Formula One champion Michael Schumacher will not be driving a Ferrari this season, the Italian team has announced, putting an end to speculation that the German champion might replace injured driver Felipe Massa.

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AFP - Ferrari on Monday finally ended all talk of a Michael Schumacher comeback in the wake of Luca Badoer's miserable weekend at the European Grand Prix.

Team boss Stefano Domenicali said there was no way that the seven-times champion German driver would be drafted in to replace the hapless Badoer as a deputy for injured Brazilian Felipe Massa.

He said: "I'm happy he is training, but what I can absolutely rule out is that Michael can return this year as a racing driver."

Schumacher was lined up initially to replace Massa, following the Latin American's serious accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but an old neck injury forced him to abandon his comeback.

As the critics had a field day following Badoer's unimpressive and error-strewn weekend in Valencia, Domenicali leapt to the defence of the veteran 38-year-old test driver.

He said: "It would have been tough for Michael, too, because it's a difficult track and it's new. Obviously his approach is always aggressive. Would he have done well?

"I really think so, because he wouldn't have gone for it if he wasn't confident. As for how well, I'd be dishonest: I don't know. However, he would certainly have done well."

Badoer is expected to continue for Ferrari in next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

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