As soon as I heard the rumor that Michael Schumacher might return to Formula One in place of injured Felipe Massa, my first reaction was, "Not a hope on earth."
In my opinion, there was no way that he would be physically fit enough to drive a Formula One car, especially when one considers that he had been in a motorcycle accident in February that required hospital treatment.
The accident he suffered affected Schumacher's neck, the most important part of any race car driver’s body, the part of the body that feels all of the G forces of a Formula One Car, and the part of the body that Formula One drivers focus on the most.
In my opinion, there is no way that a man of Schumacher’s quality, experience, and knowledge would have thought he would have been able to drive.
He claims to have made the decision because of "team loyalty." That phrase can mean absolutely anything.
It can range from, "I was forced to by the team" to, "I felt guilty" or even, "We needed to attract some positive attention."
Personally, I was skeptical right from the start. As soon as I first read the rumor that he may be returning, I thought something suspicious was going on.
The next two races on the Formula One calendar, Valencia and Spa Francorchamps, had been struggling with ticket sales. As soon as Ferrari announced that Schumacher would be taking over from Massa, tickets for the races starting selling like hot cakes.
The European Grand Prix ticket sold out less than two weeks after the announcement and tickets for Spa were selling very quickly as well.
I recently checked the prices for these races and they were ridiculously high. A Sunday pass for a grandstand at Spa is over £350 per person. And that's only the price for the Sunday race ticket—not the flights, not the hotel, not even qualifying or practice!
Millions of pounds will be spent at these two venues. Both were struggling before the "Schumacher Announcement," but now both races will be sellouts.
Looking at all this information, I believe that Schumacher, Ferrari, and the Grand Prix organizers all knew he wouldn't be able to race.
The Grand Prix organizers and Ferrari saw an opportunity to make a quick buck from the horrific Massa incident by selling hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of tickets and Ferrari and Schumacher merchandise instead of giving a young, up-and-coming driver a chance to show his skills.
There is, in my opinion, no way on earth that this was not a publicity stunt.