Michael Schumacher's return to Formula 1 is the best news the sport could get, according to his brother Ralf.
Seven-time champion Schumacher is to replace the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari from next month's European Grand Prix at Valencia. The 40-year-old retired from Formula 1 racing at the end of 2006, and he last tested grand prix machinery in 2008. The Valencia street circuit will be a new challenge for the German, who has never driven there before.
Schumacher will race alongside Kimi Raikkonen, and will also be on track with World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who has never raced the German before.
"He was itching to come back. But no one expected that," Ralf told German television networl N-24. "After all the bad headlines in the sport recently this is absolutely great. Nothing better could have happened for Formula 1 than my brother coming back."
The shock return has elated German newspapers, who on Thursday hailed Schumacher's comeback.
"The God of racing has come back. The legend will drive again," read Bild
Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport
also celebrated Schumacher's return with the headline: "It's Schumacher turn!" on its front page.