Michael Schumacher says he is confident that the new Mercedes GP W01 is good enough to fight for the 2010 F1 title.
Schumacher makes his return this season with Mercedes after the team completed a buy-out of Brawn GP, and will be partnered by Nico Rosberg for his first year of racing since retiring from F1 at the end of the 2006 campaign.
While he admits that it is difficult to judge how the field is shaping up after the first two tests of pre-season, Schumacher insisted he was confident that Mercedes has a car to challenge for the title even if he has no experience from last year to work with.
“I am fully convinced that we have a car that is able to fight for the championship,” he told the official F1 website. “Where we are exactly is hard to say. This is especially true for me as I don't have the data from last year's car.”
Schumacher added that he was enjoying the experience of being back behind the wheel of a modern F1 machine and was more than ready for the challenge of the year ahead.
“To drive a car like this again, it was just that great old feeling I know so well,” he said. “Nothing comes close. I love that sensation, I always did. It was just that my batteries were empty at the end of 2006 that I retired. I would not have wanted to go on. Now my batteries are fully loaded again!”