Schumacher ready to go for it after GP2 test 15 Jan 2010
It may be 55 days before the season starts, but returning seven-time champion Michael Schumacher is already raring to go. Schumacher, who will drive for Mercedes this year after a three-season absence from the sport, kick started his on-track work early this week, completing a three-day GP2 test at the Spanish circuit of Jerez.
Although his time in the car was billed as a way to help the GP2 Series evaluate various new set-up solutions, the German, who is keen to reacclimatize himself to life in a single-seater cockpit before the official Formula One tests get underway next month, was more than happy to lend a hand. And after racking up 130 laps during his final day in the car, Schumacher seemed pleased with progress.
I could really drive a lot on this last day of testing and it worked out perfectly, said the 41 year-old. I am very happy with the way testing went here. We worked well, our times and consistency was good and we could do everything we had scheduled to do. I feel fit, I felt comfortable immediately back in the car - hey, lets go for it!
The news he is feeling fully fit and relaxed in the car will be huge relief for Schumachers fans, after the German was forced to cancel his comeback last year, as a stand-in for the injured Felipe Massa, when an old neck injury recurred. But as well as being back in shape, Schumacher also looks to be as quick as ever too, clocking a best time of 1m 24.621s on his last run.
For GP2 Series organiser, Bruno Michel, just having the opportunity to hear Schumachers perspective on their next-generation car has been indispensable.
This has been a fantastic opportunity for the GP2 Series and everyone involved in the competition, explained Michel. Michaels analysis and feedback was fantastic and the GP2 technical staff who has been working with him this week is positive that what has been learned from this development test will provide us with an even better car in 2011. We are very happy that Michael chose our car to get his sensations back at the wheel of a high-performance machine and that he stated that it was the closest thing to a current Formula One car.
With his reintroduction to single-seater testing now over, Schumacher is expected to return home to continue his preparations, ahead of his first outing in Mercedes 2010 car, which is expected to take place at the first F1 test of the year early next month.