As the countdown continues to Michael Schumacher’s comeback in Bahrain, the former World Champion says he’s like a ‘child looking forward to Christmas,’ and that his ‘batteries are recharged.’
In a Mercedes statement he reiterated the fact that updates due on the silver car for Bahrain could tip the balance in the team’s favour.
“Finally the season will start!,” he said. “I feel like a child looking forward to Christmas. The decision to make my comeback feels like a long time ago now and I can hardly wait for the season to get underway in Bahrain. It’s funny to think that I will be competing in Formula One again when just a few months ago, I would have declined the opportunity categorically.
“But sometimes things change and the right circumstances come together. I feel fresher than I have for many years. I am perfectly prepared physically and most importantly, my energy is back completely. When I retired from racing in 2006, my batteries were simply empty. Now they are totally recharged and I am ready for the challenge. It is the competition at the highest level that only Formula One offers which has provided the temptation for me.
“It is always difficult to predict the form in pre-season testing, this year more than ever, but the final test in Barcelona proved to us that we should be competitive. We know that we will have more new parts in Bahrain which should bring extra performance to the car. It’s important to be in the leading group from the start of the season and I am confident that we will be there.”
Meanwhile Ross Brawn admits that there’s still some work to do: “We had a strong pre-season testing programme with the MGP W01 but we are not quite reached the level of preparation that we would have liked prior to Bahrain. The car shows promise and we have a strong development programme planned for the season but there is a lot of hard work ahead to ensure that we will be in the fight for the title.
“I am very pleased with how our new drivers Michael and Nico have settled into the team and developed a close working relationship. They have really pushed the development of the car throughout testing and they will push each other to achieve better results on the race track.
“This season should be a fantastic one for the fans with so many talented drivers competing and what is likely to be a very close fight for the title between the top teams and that can only be good for our sport.”
That’s certainly what everyone is hoping. A week from today we’ll find out a little more…