Schumacher planning January 2010 turnout for Mercedes Grand Prix

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London, Dec. 22 (ANI): The contract is not yet signed, but there are now no obstacles to Michael Schumacher turning out for Mercedes Grand Prix next season after a four-year-long hiatus from international motor racing.

Schumacher's previous planned return, to replace the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari in the summer, foundered when tests showed that his neck was damaged from a motorbike fall earlier this year.

Although a formal all clear has yet to be given to the seven-times world champion, there is not expected to be a repeat this time.

According to The Times, Schumacher is thought to have begun training at a level that would have exposed any weakness in his neck and, so far, all has gone without a hitch.

The 40-year-old has not yet confirmed all the details with Mercedes, but those close to him believe a January 2010 announcement is in the offing.

He is said to be looking to add not only to his record 91 grand-prix wins, but also to his unparalleled haul of seven drivers' titles and he has already spent many hours discussing his new car with the Mercedes team. (ANI)

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