After vacating the cockpit of his Mercedes Grand Prix W01 challenger for the final time at Jerez during pre-season F1 2010 testing at the end of Friday, record-breaking multiple world champion Michael Schumacher affirmed that the Stuttgart manufacturer is 'on-schedule' with its preparations for the fast-approaching campaign - but added that a good deal of work still remains ahead.

Schumacher lapped fifth-quickest of the eleven drivers in attendance around the southern Spanish circuit on day three of the four-day session, completing 79 tours and winding up just over two seconds shy of the outright pace at the close of play - though at present, lap times arguably continue to mean little.

Grateful for the dry running after the disruptions caused by the unseasonal torrential downpours that had lashed Jerez earlier in the week, the 41-year-old German returnee benefitted from good conditions once the early dampness from overnight rain had cleared away, and focussed on set-up development and long runs, confirming positive progress before handing over to young team-mate and compatriot Nico Rosberg for Saturday.

"It was a nice end to my testing days at Jerez this week," 'Schumi' reported, "and it was great to finally have some consistent dry running. We are on-schedule with our programme, but at the same time, we are well aware that there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

"The final test in Barcelona next week will be an important test in this respect, and will give us valuable information about the performance of the car."


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