Michael Schumacher has confessed that he is unable to hide his excitement at the prospect of once again competing in Formula one.
It has been over three years since Schumacher last turned a wheel in anger and the Seven-time World Champion is relishing his return.
“Finally the season will start! 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”
Although Schumacher’s comeback was looking unlikely just a few months ago, he has declared himself more than ready to go and in the best shape of his career.
“It's funny to think that I will be competing in Formula 1 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.”
However, Schumacher’s enthusiasm may be more than his car can live up to. Whilst Mercedes have established themselves as one of the top four teams in pre-season testing, many believe that Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren have the edge over them.
Schumacher has been unusually cagey in his comments about just where he thinks Mercedes are, only stating that they will be ‘competitive’ in Bahrain.
Part of this may be due to the fact that Mercedes are poised to introduce a new front wing and ‘super diffuser’ for the first race in Bahrain.
"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."
The new upgrades were apparently trialled in a private test session at Rockingham yesterday.