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Schumacher sets out on road back to F1

Last updated on: January 13, 2010 10:54 IST

Schumacher sets out on road back to F1

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Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher set out on the road back to Formula One on Tuesday by testing a GP2 development car in southern Spain.

The 41-year-old German, returning with Mercedes after retiring as a Ferrari driver in 2006, completed 52 laps of the Jerez track before heavy rain and gusty conditions halted the session. He said it was good to be back.

"Very positive. The feeling is there straightaway," said Schumacher in a video interview released by Mercedes.

"Luckily I have never given up in terms of driving something, either motorbikes or go-karts. I had a test obviously last summer in a Formula One (car) so it is straightforward to bring the car back to the limit."


Image: Michael Schumacher tests a GP2 development car in southern Spain

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'The feeling is there straightaway'

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Schumacher, Formula One's most successful driver, had to abandon a planned comeback as a stand-in with Ferrari last season due to the lingering effects of a neck injury suffered in a motorcycle accident.

He has since signed a multi-year deal with Mercedes, who have taken over Brawn, as world champion Jenson Button's replacement. He will continue testing on Wednesday and Thursday.

"Despite the weather not being what we all would have liked all my senses were nevertheless on full alert -- this alone was worth it. I felt comfortable out on the track from the very beginning," he said.

"We have two purposes, one is to get as many kilometres as possible for myself and the second priority is to get to know the engineers and get to work together."


Image: Michael Schumacher

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Schumi 'settling in well'

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Schumacher, who has twice before driven for British-based teams, said he was settling in well and preparations for the new season were on track.

"Brackley is already kind of home after the second time being there...so overall we are pretty much set," he said.

GP2 is Formula's One's support series at race weekends, with all teams using the same Renault-powered cars. Formula One teams are not allowed to test until the first official session in Valencia on February 1.


Image: Michael Schumacher

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