The 2010 season. It's not here yet, but rumours are already circulating about who is going where, and when.
Ferrari are the hot topic at the moment.
Will Kimi Raikkonen still be racing for them? Will he be rallying instead?
Will Fernando Alonso join the Scuderia?
Well, now we have a new whisper to digest. Michael Schumacher may be looking to come out of retirement to race for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in 2010.
News, coming from UK publication Autosport, suggests that Michael is currently training for a return.
During the press conference that he announced that he would not be standing in for injured Felipe Massa, the German continually avoided a straight answer to a specific question that was put to him directly, several times.
Would he be returning to F1 in 2010?
His answer was short and indirect.
"I cannot possibly answer that."
This could mean that he doesn't know, or that he doesn't want to say.
It is no secret that Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo desperately wants the seven times World Champion to return to the race track.
And with the possibility of Raikkonen's seat being vacant, and rumours that while Alonso will join Ferrari, it wont be until 2011, it is looking increasingly likely that the 40-year-old wunderkind will return.
Another rumour (getting lots of these this season, aren't we), is that the FIA would be considering the idea of running three cars per team to increase the numbers, due to BMW dropping out.
This would allow Schumacher to race for Ferrari, alongside Massa and Raikkonen/Alonso.
While I can believe some rumours, this seems a bit far fetched.
Now, there are a few tell tale signs about this Schumacher affair.
The reason he cannot compete this season, is because of the injury he sustained to his neck while testing a Honda Fireblade in Spain. His doctor revealed the extent of his injuries at the press conference.
Schumacher had not just fractured his neck, he had fractured his skull in two places, one of which was a small fracture at the back of his skull. This on its own would not be cause for major concern, but it is part of the skull that supports the weight of his head.
He also broke a left rib.
His neck injury, though, is widely believed to heal within time, and that it was the lack of neck strength that aggravated the pain. Neck strength is something that is very important in F1 as the neck takes a lot of the load and stresses that accompanies driving F1 cars.
Schumacher is currently in an intensive training regime to try and increase the strength in his neck.
As a massive Schumacher fan, I would love to see him make a (triumphant) return, but I'm not sure it's what I really want, or what F1 needs (though it would increase ticket sales and merchandising).
We will just have to wait and see, though this time I wont be holding my breath. I think I might pass out!
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