Sebastian Vettel insists that the current hype regarding the return of seven-time F1 title winner Michael Schumacher will disappear when the 2010 season kicks off in Bahrain.
Schumacher has garnered many of the headlines over the festive period following confirmation that he will join Mercedes for 2010 – coming out of retirement to race in F1 for the first time since 2006.
While Vettel admits that Schumacher's decision to return to the sport is a positive for F1, the Red Bull Racing man said he felt the current hype would subside when the season gets underway when there will be 'more important things' for the paddock to focus on.
"His return is good for F1," he told Gazzetta dello Sport
. "Now this is obviously the main point of conversation, and the entire world is talking about it.
"But I think that once the engines start again and the season begins, there will certainly be more important things to focus on."
Despite the many rumours suggesting that a deal was imminent, Vettel insisted that he was surprised to see the return confirmed – especially after a planned return with Ferrari had to be aborted – but added that he was sure his countryman would be able to deal with the physical nature of the sport now his neck injury is fully healed.
“It certainly won't be easy for him," he said. "But if you look at him, he really is still in great shape. He's always been active. Naturally a lot will depend on the car's performance. Let's wait at least until the Bahrain GP to understand what will happen."