Michael Schumacher has been right on the pace during his GP2 test outing for Super Nova at Jerez in Spain this week, team boss David Sears has revealed.
Ahead of his F1 comeback in 2010, the seven-time champion has been allowed to get vital mileage under his belt in the test that has been billed as a GP2 development run. Although no lap times have been issued from the test, Sears has given away just how quick Schumacher has been – despite the poor weather that has blighted the week.
"I would say that with a track that is not completely dry, with the curbs wet and everything else, to be less than one second off the quickest ever time is pretty handy!" Sears said at the AUTOSPORT International Show. "It [the test] is ongoing as we speak, and it has been damp for the last couple of days. Michael is going around as we speak, doing long runs and making sure that his neck is standing up – which it is. "
Sears also reckons that Schumacher will put some of his rivals to shame this year on his return to F1, despite being 41.
"I think the guy is on such a higher plain in being incredibly physically fit," he said. "Probably Nigel Mansell was the first guy who made sure that racing drivers were incredibly fit, because he had broken his neck and his back.
"Michael having gone off and stolen our chief mechanic to go and ride motorbikes, I think he fell off a few times and one of those times he landed on his head. Obviously, he damaged a couple of vertebrae there which took a while to mend, and I think when he was asked to deputize for Felipe Massa it wasn't mended at that point. But now obviously it is – and certainly I would say the guy is fitter, more intelligent and quicker than most of the other drivers. And at 41, he is going to demonstrate that again."