Michael Schumacher?s spokeswoman has raised concerns over the fitness of the German legend ahead of his scheduled return to Formula 1 on August 23.
?It is not sure yet the neck will hold and the comeback can be started,? said Sabine Kehm on Wednesday.
F1 drivers? necks must be strong enough to cope with high G-forces and Schumacher admitted after testing on Tuesday that his ?pinches a bit?.
He will now undergo routine medical checks to determine if he can return.
Schumacher is set to deputise for Ferrari?s Felipe Massa at the European Grand Prix in Valencia after the Brazilian suffered serious head and eye injuries during qualifying for the Hungarian GP on 25 July.
Since agreeing to step in for Massa – who is now recovering at home in Brazil – a week ago the 40-year-old has driven an old Ferrari F1 car at the team?s Mugello test track in Italy and embarked on a rigorous training regime, resulting in him losing over six pounds in weight.
But it was made clear from the outset that any comeback, after almost three years in retirement, would largely depend on his fitness.
?From the very beginning it was made clear Michael would require medical checks. It is normal,? said Kehm.
?It depends on medical investigations. Only after those will it be clear whether he will be able to drive.
?Michael is fully geared up, and fully on it. He has been for a week now. But he is a human being, and we have to make sure everything is fine.?
Schumacher?s neck problem was sustained in an accident during a motorbike test in Spain.
?I?m currently in the midst of my preparations for the upcoming race. I already lost three kilograms even if it is also important to me for to build up muscles,? he said on his official website on Tuesday. ?So all in all, the practice is going pretty well.
?I only have to admit that my neck pinches a bit.
?We have to get a grip on that as my health is the priority – that’s the clear arrangement made with Ferrari and with my wife too.?
Seven-time world champion Schumacher won five championships with Ferrari and had been working as a consultant for the Italian team.
He does not want to make a full-time return to F1, but said he had to stand in for Massa because of his loyalty to Ferrari. (BBC Sport)