Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Schumacher pulls plug on F1 comeback


HUNGARYA disappointing day for fans of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, with news that the German has had to call off his proposed F1 comeback.

As the seven-times world champion said on his website:

“Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I’m not able to step in for Felipe (Massa). I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn’t work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.

The consequences of the injuries caused by the bike-accident in February, fractures in the area of head and neck, unfortunately have turned out to be still too severe. That is why my neck cannot stand the extreme stresses caused by Formula 1 yet. This are the clear results of the examinations we did on the course of the past two weeks and the final examination yesterday afternoon. As there were no improvements after the day in Mugello, I decided at short notice on Sunday to do that thorough examination already yesterday.

I am disappointed to the core. I am awfully sorry for the guys of Ferrari and for all the fans which crossed fingers for me. I can only repeat that I tried everything that was within my power. All I can do now is to keep my fingers crossed for the whole team for the coming races.”

Why do golf fans cheer tap-ins? And when is a fine not a fine?


tigerA few thoughts from two weeks following the PGA Tour:

Just wondering why people clap like mad every time a golfer taps in a two-inch putt?  Are these the same people who break out in applause when a plane lands? Aren’t both these things suppose to happen?
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Best thing I heard on the golf course this week: “Instead of reading the greens you have to read the currents out there,” joked former U.S. Masters champion Mike Weir at the rain-hit Canadian Open.

Second best I heard on the golf course this week: “Let’s go watch someone who wants to play.” — A disgruntled spectator to a friend at the Buick Open after watching Rocco Mediate miss twice from three-feet at the par four 12th at Warwick.
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You have to love a tournament like the Buick Open where the trophy looks like a hood ornament.
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Best joke I heard: England midfielder David Beckham was fined $1,000 by Major League Soccer for confronting unhappy fans following his return to the LA Galaxy during AC Milan. That works out to 1/250,000th of Beckham’s reported five-year $250 million deal that brought him to the United States to spread the soccer gospel.

Is Schumacher right to return to Formula One?


MOTOR RACING/Incredible but true: Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher is to return to Formula One as a short-term replacement for Felipe Massa — provided the German passes a medical.

As Ferrari have just confirmed, Schumacher is poised to make a comeback after Massa fractured his skull in an accident at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

BMW follow Honda in quitting Formula One


BMW rocked Formula One on Wednesday by announcing their exit as a team and engine supplier at the end of 2009.

The Munich carmaker’s abrupt decision, after a dismal season on the track and with the industry in crisis, leaves the glamour sport with just four manufacturers – Fiat-owned Ferrari, McLaren’s partners Mercedes, Renault and Toyota.

Who can replace Felipe Massa?


With seven times champion Michael Schumacher seemingly in no rush to come out of retirement to stand in for his friend and former team mate Felipe Massa, Ferrari will have to resign themselves to looking elsewhere.

Massa appears to be on the mend, thankfully, but it has to be doubtful whether last year’s overall runner-up will race again this season after the serious head injuries sustained in Hungary.

The most dangerous man in F1?


Readers of some British newspapers might be under the impression that an accident waiting to happen has been unleashed on Formula One.

F1′s most dangerous man?” asked the Daily Mail, over a picture of Jaime Alguersuari, a 19-year-old Spaniard with a piercing gaze and next to no experience at the wheel of a grand prix car.

Will there be a Japanese Grand Prix next year?

fujiToyota-owned Fuji’s announcement that they are pulling the plug on hosting the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix leaves a question mark over the country’s future on the championship calendar.

Fuji had been due to host the race next year as part of an agreement to alternate with Honda-owned Suzuka. However since that deal was done, Honda have pulled out of Formula One and may not have too much of an incentive to pick up the slack.

Why Ferrari is Formula One

One month on, and it appears to be all over. Ferrari won. In the war of the brands, it was no contest. And, in the end, it was Bernie Ecclestone who saw the writing on the wall for F1, too.

After a Paris breakfast with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo on Wednesday, he told FIA president Max Mosley it was over. No more crusades, no more rows over rules and no more daft outbursts. Ecclestone had to save the F1 brand, protect the investment of CVC Capital and his own interests, and make sure his old friend and ally knew what to expect: Game Over, Max.

Peace breaks out in Formula One


Formula One stepped back from the brink on Wednesday as FIA president Max Mosley agreed a compromise with FOTA, the Teams’ Association, to save the sport from a rival breakaway series.

The disagreement, which centred on Mosley’s plans to introduce a budget cap for the 2010 season, had threatened to end Formula One’s 60-year existence with eight teams including champions Ferrari prepared to walk away for good.

Breaking news: Formula One steps back from the brink

A deal has been reached with Formula One teams to avoid a breakaway series next year, media reported FIA president Max Mosley as saying on Wednesday.

Mosley and eight teams had been at loggerheads over his plans to introduce a budget cap for 2010.