Michael Schumacher has admitted that he was pleased to find a Mercedes team raring to go in 2010, despite having been so successful in its previous guise as Brawn GP.
The German, who turned 41 at the start of January, spent two days visiting the team's Brackley facility as he gears up for testing in February, and revealed that it was encouraging to see the apparent motivation and hunger of all involved following the unexpected team and driver titles it secured in 2009.
"I have been in the factory in Brackley now for two days and spent the time to get to know the engineers and the structures a bit better, and I am extremely positive surprised about how motivated everybody was," Schumacher wrote on his personal website, "This a world champion team but it does not seem to be spoilt by success at all. Instead, it seems to be hungry for more."
The visit to the UK was Schumacher's second since it became clear that he would join Nico Rosberg in an all-German line-up, and the seven-time champion clearly feels comfortable joining the 'home' team.
"I was there already around the time of the signature of the contract and learnt a lot, but now I have seen much more about the team," he noted, "It is important for me to be informed about everything and it was very interesting to get to understand the engineers and their structures and the way they work. The people there seem to be highly motivated and I find that encouraging, as it perfectly fits my personal mood.
“What I also liked was that you hear a lot of people speaking German there. That is nice for once, I am not so much used to that at my work and I find it quite convenient."
Schumacher is not expected to make his Mercedes debut until the testing ban lifts in February, but has been rumoured to be getting a private GP2 Series outing with Super Nova this week in a bid to test his injured neck ahead of his F1 return [see story here
The German has also revealed that he had negotiated his deal with Mercedes without the help of long-time manager Willi Weber, saving himself the 66-year old's ten per cent fee, although the pair remain in partnership.
"I am now old enough to take care of a few things for myself," he told Bild
, “but Willi is, and remains, my manager and friend. We co-operate as well as ever.”