Schumacher targeting both 2010 titles 20 Jan 2010
Even for a man of his high standards, after three years away Michael Schumacher would be forgiven for setting a modest target for his comeback season. The seven-time world champion, however, is clearly feeling as ambitious as ever and, alongside former Ferrari colleague Ross Brawn who heads up his new team Mercedes, Schumacher is aiming to win both the drivers and constructors titles.
We want to achieve something together, the 41 year-old German said on his official website. The line-up we have here is pretty unique - with Ross and his world championship winning team, with the know-how of Mercedes and with the best engine at the moment - and we want to use that. We have a clear aim: we want to win the championships. That's what we will fight for from the beginning. That is my personal standard too.
If his explicit goal to win both titles wasnt enough to worry his younger rivals, Schumacher is also keen to point out that he has lost none of his hunger for success during his spell away from Formula One competition. In fact he believes hes stronger thanks to the break.
After my retirement at the end of 2006 I was very happy, he explained. I felt relieved and free. It was good for me to be quiet for those three years. It really feels as if my batteries have been fully recharged. My energy is back completely. I have really noticed how the prickle has returned and how motivated I am, because I am looking forward to this competition so much.
Indeed, Schumacher is looking forward to racing again so much that last week he tested a GP2 car to get back into the swing of things ahead of his F1 testing return next month. After being forced to cancel his planned comeback as a stand-in for the injured Felipe Massa last year because of a recurring neck injury, he said it was good to be back in the cockpit feeling fit and well.
It went better than I had expected, he added. I immediately felt well in the car, it was as if I had never gone. I feel extremely fresh and fit. That was one of the reasons why I felt so good in the car in Jerez. But then, Formula One is another thing, the G-forces are higher, so its not really comparable. That is why I am looking forward so much to testing in February. Only then will the old feelings be completely back. I can't wait to be back there.
Schumacher is expected to sample Mercedes 2010 car at the first F1 test session of the year, which starts at the Spanish track of Valencia on February 1.