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August 13, 2009

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Schumacher disappointed after aborting comeback bid

SEVEN-TIME world champion Michael Schumacher said he was sad and disappointed at having to abort his Formula One comeback.

"This is a very sad moment for myself," the German told a news conference yesterday, one day after announcing that he was cancelling his plans for a temporary return to the circuit due to fitness concerns.

"We have prepared very seriously, done as much as we could from our side, but we always said that I would do the job on condition I was ready for it and sadly I couldn't fulfil this.

"I'm very disappointed not to do what I was looking forward doing and that's all I'm thinking about."

Schumacher, who retired in 2006, had been expected to return for the European Grand Prix on August 23 to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa but the German conceded defeat in his battle to get fit for the Valencia race.

Italian Luca Badoer meanwhile said he was up to the challenge after being handed a race drive by Ferrari after Schumacher pulled out.

"I have prepared myself to be ready under any circumstances just as I've been doing in previous years," Badoer told the team's Website.

"I've been in this business for quite a while. After Felipe's accident (in Hungary last month) I intensified my program and I'm sure I won't have any problems."

Badoer started 49 races for Scuderia Italia, Minardi and Forti without scoring a point between 1993-99, his last competitive drive coming at the Japanese Grand Prix almost a decade ago.

However, the 38-year-old has been behind the wheel of Ferrari's existing F60 race car.

"Since I was a child I've always wanted to race for Ferrari and now I've got the possibility to make this desire come true," said Badoer.


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