Michael Schumacher insisted he was happy with a top six finish on his return to F1 competition in Bahrain, declaring that the result was a 'good base to make progress' for the Mercedes GP team.

In his first F1 outing since the 2006 season finale, Schumacher enjoyed a steady - if unspectacular run - to sixth place and the seven-time champion insisted he was happy with the result and the base it has given the team for the remainder of the season.

"After three years away, I'm happy to say that I had fun out there today, especially at the beginning with the good start that I had," he said. "I can live very well with sixth position and it gives both me and the team a good base to make progress. I have every confidence that we will improve the car.

"Working with the team for our first race together was very positive and the guys did a great job so I would like to thank them for their support in my comeback race. We all know that we have some way to go but we will get there. The season is long."

However, speaking to the BBC following the race, Schumacher admitted that the rules for 2010 and strategies employed by teams - which saw the leading runners complete just one stop - had ensured that the event wasn't one that will be regarded as a classic.

"Overtaking is basically impossible, other than if somebody makes a mistake," he said. "Lewis had a little one so Nico was able to pass him, but got back past at the pitstop. That's about it.

"That's the action we are going to have with unfortunately this kind of environment of race strategy."