SEVEN-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is set to make a dramatic return to the sport as a stand-in for injured Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa.
The German race legend, who has remained with Ferrari on a consultation basis since his retirement in 2006, is set to climb back into the drivers' seat at the European Grand Prix, on August 23.
His shock return comes after a freak accident in last weekend's qualifying session at the Hungarian Grand Prix last Saturday (25) left Felipe Massa with head injuries which will probably rule him out for the rest of the season.
Now Schumacher has vowed to take the Brazilian's seat until he is well enough to return.
He said: "For team loyalty reasons I can't ignore this unfortunate situation."
This week Schumacher's former team boss, Eddie Jordan, described the veteran's temporary return, at the age of 40, as "the biggest story in sporting history."
Massa was travelling in excess of 160mph in last weekend's qualifying session when a spring flew off the Brawn GP car of fellow Brazilian racer Reubens Barrichello and smashed into his helmet, shattering his visor and causing serious skull fractures.
Fears of brain damage and lost sight followed the incident but medics have now indicated that Massa should make a full recovery.
The incident bore a chilling resemblance to a tragic accident which claimed the life of 18-year-old Formula Two driver, Henry Surtees, just six days earlier.
Surtees, the son of race legend John Surtees, was hit on the head by a stray wheel which flew into his path as he raced at Brands Hatch, on July 19, and was instantly killed.
Brazilian F1 ace, Massa, led tributes to the young F1 hopeful and expressed the need for continually improving standards of safety, in an interview the following day—just five days before Saturday's drama.
Massa said: "These things remind us how much safety has to remain the priority on the track and in all the other places of motorsport.
"Over the last years much has been done, but we can't be inattentive."