OCTOBER 4, 1999
Schumacher out for the rest of the year
Schumacher's spokesman Heiner Buchinger suggested that the problems may have resulted from an infection caused by one of the metal pins inserted when he was operated on after his accident at Silverstone in July. We have also heard that he has problems with his cartilages which may have been caused because he tried to return to the cockpit too quickly. The German was back in action for a day of testing at Mugello less than six weeks after his crash despite the fact that doctors said it would take 12 to 16 weeks.
The problems began after that test and a second test at Monza had to be called off after just a few laps because Michael was in too much pain.
"Michael Schumacher has informed Ferrari he has taken the decision not to participate at the next two Grands Prix because he does not feel he is in the right physical condition for the races," a Ferrari statement indicated.
Mika Salo will continue to deputise for the injured Schumacher. Michael says that he should be fully fit by the start of the 2001 season. The news will come as a blow to Eddie Irvine who has been struggling to be competitive in recent races without Schumacher's input in development.