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GP Week : Issue 56
> F1NEWS> ension The stewards said that Renault had acted unsafely in breach of Article 3.2 of the Sporting Regulations and in breach of Article 23.1.i had released the car from the pits before it was safe to do so. Renault has announced that it will appeal the decision, with a hearing expected to be heard before the European Grand Prix, rather than allowing the team to race under appeal. For more, read Opinion, page 22 Remarkable comeback for seven-time World Champ on the cards following Massa shunt Schumacher back? MICHAEL Schumacher could be set to make a remarkable racing return to Formula 1, two and a half years after hanging up his helmet. Following Felipe Massa’s freak accident during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, leading neurologists have predicted that the Brazilian will need a minimum of six weeks’ recovery time meaning that he will miss the forthcoming European and Belgian Grands Prix at the very least. Sources close to Ferrari and its Spanish test driver Mac Gene have told GPWEEK that the Spaniard does not believe he will be called by the team to replace Massa at Gene’s home race in Valencia, due in no small part to his lack of Formula 1 race mileage since taking part in two F1 races for Williams back in 2004. Those same sources also confirmed that fellow Ferrari tester Luca Badoer is just as unlikely to be handed the seat due to his last competitive F1 outing taking place 10 years ago. Schumacher’s manager Wili Webber has moved to refute claims that the seven-time world champion will be making a return to Formula 1, telling the SID news agency that it was “only speculation and I don’t see it happening.” However, Schumacher remains by far the most sensible option for Ferrari, and the SpaFrancorchamps circuit in Belgium is notorious as being one of his favourites and one which, on the basis of the Hungarian Grand Prix result, could well suit the KERS-shod Ferrari. With the Italian Grand Prix falling just two weeks after Spa, there is the possibility for Schumacher to contest Ferrari’s home Grand Prix also, on the weekend at which the team is expected to announce Fernando Alonso as a 2010 Ferrari driver. Other drivers believed to be in the frame for Massa’s vacant seat are Sebastien Bourdais, through his manager Nicolas Todt (who also manages Massa), with Italian former F3000 champion Vitantonio Liuzzi also mentioned as a potential stand-in. Nelson Piquet is the only other driver with 2009 F1 experience, who is expected to be available as Renault looks likely to drop him before the F1 circus arrives in Valencia. 5