Ferrari refuse to rule out Schumacher comeback

FERRARI last night left the door open for seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher to make a sensational return to F1 as a replacement for Felipe Massa.<br /><br />The Italian team responded to suggestions the 40-year-old could step in for Massa on a short-term basis following a day of mixed messages from Schumacher&rsquo;s camp.<br /><br />Brazilian Massa, who fractured his skull during qualifying for Sunday&rsquo;s Hungarian Grand Prix, continues to recover but his future in the sport remains in serious doubt.<br /><br />And Schumacher, who won five titles for the team and continues to work for them as an advisor, is seen as a natural temporary substitute.<br /><br />&ldquo;We have said before that it is possible that Michael Schumacher could return to help us out,&rdquo; said Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni. &ldquo;However, we have two test drivers at Ferrari Luca Badoer and Marc Gene at the moment and Michael is an advisor.<br /><br />&ldquo;We have not spoken to him, but it is possible that this might happen. It is something for team boss Stefano Domenicali to consider over the coming weeks.&rdquo;<br /><br />Schumacher&rsquo;s manager Willi Weber had earlier insisted he was &ldquo;200 per cent sure&rdquo; the German would not make a comeback. &ldquo;Whoever sits in the car at the next race in Valencia, it will not be Michael Schumacher,&rdquo; he added. <br /><br />Weber&rsquo;s comments came after Schumacher&rsquo;s spokeswoman Sabine Kehm had said the former Benetton driver, who retired in 2006, would consider an offer. &ldquo;If they approach Michael, then he will consider it,&rdquo; said Kehm. &ldquo;Usually, I would say he&rsquo;s not interested because he&rsquo;s fine with his life and he doesn&rsquo;t miss anything but now the situation is so different.&rdquo;<br /><br />Massa&rsquo;s was yesterday able to open his left eye, giving his doctor Dino Altman hope that Massa avoided lasting damage. &ldquo;He can see,&rdquo; Altmann said. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no apparent damage. The eye is morphologically healthy.&rdquo;<br /><br />Massa&rsquo;s doctor in Budapest, Peter Bazso, added that he could be discharged within 10 days. &ldquo;My expectation is that he would walk out of the hospital on his own,&rdquo; he said.