Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has revealed that Michael Schumacher is confident that he is ready for the first preseason Formula 1 test from Feb. 1-3, following last week's successful GP2 outing at Jerez.
The seven-time World Champion tested a GP2 development car run by personnel from the Super Nova team for three days ahead of his return to F1 after three years in retirement. Brawn believes that the demands of driving a GP2 car meant that it was the best available way to prepare.
"Michael really enjoyed getting back into a racing car and is fully confident that he will be ready for our first test in Valencia," Brawn told AUTOSPORT. "The accelerations in cornering and braking on a GP2 car are around 1G less than an F1 car but it is the closest comparison that you can achieve."
Brawn added that it was not until last Thursday, the final day of the test at the former Spanish and European Grand Prix venue, that conditions allowed Schumacher to prove his outright speed. Schumacher was able to complete a grand prix distance on the final afternoon. "It was only on the final day when the rain stopped that we were able to see how quick Michael really was," Brawn said.
"We were able to achieve a Formula 1 race distance on the final afternoon and the GP2 Series engineers were very impressed with the speed and consistency of his long runs and the feedback received from Michael on their developments. Michael was very happy with the test, although the continued rain on the first two days was frustrating for everyone."