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I am Adam Feneley, studying for an MEng in Motorsport Engineering at Brunel University, England.

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30 Jul 2009

Hamilton delighted to race alongside Schumacher

Reigning F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says it will be "an honour and a privilege" to race against seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
The German is coming out of retirement to drive for Ferrari while Felipe Massa recovers from a crash and will return to racing at the European Grand Prix.
"He is one of the sport's greatest competitors, a legend - it'd be great to compete against him," said Hamilton.
"The whole world will be watching his return to the cockpit in Valencia."
Schumacher, 40, retired at the end of 2006 but has remained closely involved with Ferrari.
The German will now cover for his former team-mate Massa while the Brazilian recovers from the serious injuries he suffered when he crashed in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, which was won by Hamilton.
The English driver has previously spoken of his regret at never having had an opportunity to go head to head with Schumacher, but at the next grand prix, on the street circuit in Valencia, he will finally get his chance.
"It will not only be fascinating to see how he readies himself for his grand prix comeback, but also an honour and a privilege to race against him for the very first time. I wish him well," added Hamilton.
This season's championship leader Jenson Button also said he was pleased at Schumacher's return.
"Everyone is saying he can only lose because if he wins it will be expected, and if he doesn't, they'll say he's lost it," said Button.
"It's a tough position for him to be in but I'm happy he's taken up the challenge and it's very brave of him.
"He's still young - 40 is not old and he'll still be competitive.
Brawn driver Button leads the championship by 18.5 points after a sensational start to the season, winning six of the first seven races.
But he has gone off the boil recently, without a podium place in the last three races, and at the next race he will also have Schumacher to contend with.
And Button does not expect the man who has already won 91 grands prix to just to make up the numbers.
"His reactions will still be there and I'm sure he's fit enough," he said.
"He tested in winter and was quick, he jumped in and on the first run he was competitive."
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen said he is looking forward to working alongside Schumacher.
"If it really happens I will be happy to partner him, even though it may not have much effect on my own performance," said the 30-year-old Finn, who was the 2007 Formula One world champion.
Since retiring from racing, Schumacher has remained in touch with the sport as well as taking part in motorcycle racing.
However, he suffered neck and back injuries in a bike accident in February and must now go through a rigorous training regime to prove his fitness.
"I hope he's up to it physically and he can pass the tests that must be administered for the neck muscles, which he hasn't used in a while," said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
"But already, the entire team is working to prepare him. On Friday, he'll have his first tests on the track."
The Valencia circuit has been modified since Schumacher retired, while the ban on in-season testing could also count against the F1 legend, who must rely on Ferrari's simulators to prepare him for his first drive in a 2009 specification Ferrari.
"This will be a big problem, at least for the first race, because he's going to find himself on a circuit he's never driven on, with a car he's never driven, and with technology he doesn't know," Montezemolo said.
"But, unfortunately, this is the price we have to pay"

Adam Feneley
Motorsport Engineering
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