Michael Schumacher says he is gunning for the "serious stuff" of fighting for the World Championship on his F1 return in 2010.
The seven-time champion has signed a three-year deal to join Mercedes GP for next season, marking an F1 comeback after three years on the sidelines. Although he will be the oldest driver on the grid when the season kicks off in Bahrain, Schumacher said on Wednesday that he is not coming back simply to have fun.
On the back of Brawn GP having captured both world titles in 2009 prior to its takeover by Mercedes-Benz, Schumacher has his sights set on adding more wins and championships to his tally.
"It [Mercedes GP] is a team that has won both championships this year," he said. "With Mercedes Benz as a strong partner, our aim can only be to fight for the championship. There will be strong competition, as we have seen, but I am thrilled to be back in this one."
Schumacher signed his contract with Mercedes GP on Tuesday night, and said that the chance of reuniting a working relationship with both Ross Brawn and Mercedes-Benz was too hard to ignore.
"The call I got from Ross Brawn at the end of November concerning the chance in my hand to go racing [was important]," he said. "Having this phone call from him and the circumstances of Mercedes-Benz being involved as the owner was great.
"I never left the racetrack. I was tired of F1 by the end of 2006, but after three years of absence I am getting back all the energy and I feel strong right now. I played around with motorbikes, and I feel ready for some serious stuff now."
Schumacher says he has no doubts that he is fit enough to return to F1, and is sure that the neck problem that sidelined him over the summer will not be an issue.
"It [the neck] was obviously a topic that I wanted to understand," he said. "Before I gave the final OK, I made certain that I worked it out myself to be sure.
"I can say 100 percent that the neck is no longer an issue. Unfortunately, it was too close to the accident in the summer when I tried for Ferrari. Time now is enough for it to have healed completely."