Off the back of what was indubitably one of his better performances since his arguably ill-fated return to top flight competition with Mercedes Grand Prix in F1 2010 at Suzuka, Michael Schumacher has again re-iterated his conviction that whilst it will take some time, the possibilities at the team in the future 'are really strong'.
Schumacher took the chequered flag a competitive sixth in last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix – a race he has won on six previous occasions between 1995 and 2004 – and thereby arrested a poor recent run that had led to ever-greater speculation within the F1 paddock that his return will ultimately be a curtailed one, with talk even of dissent within the ranks between Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug and the Brackley-based outfit's team principal Ross Brawn, a long-time ally and supporter of the Kerpen native.
However, with the Suzuka result representing the 41-year-old's best finish since his fourth place in the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul back in late May, 'Schumi' has boldly asserted once more that not only is he firmly intent on staying the course of his three-year contract with the reigning double world champions, but he is equally steadfastly set on coming out of the blocks fighting in 2011.
As he presently enjoys 'a nice week' and 'a few days to enjoy and disappear with the family', the German legend reveals that he is bidding to build upon the positive momentum evinced in Japan in the inaugural Korean Grand Prix in a week's time
“I'll re-appear fresh and relaxed at the race in South Korea,” the record-breaking 91-time grand prix-winner told his official website. “There, we hopefully will make another step forward, because in Japan the car ran quite well.
“Naturally, we want to gather as much data and information as possible to be better-prepared next year. I have said it often – I want to build up something here together with Mercedes, and I am confident that we'll manage that as the support and the opportunities at Mercedes are really strong.
“Sometimes not everything comes together as planned from the technical point-of-view; however, our link is strong enough to allow things being criticised if they don't run as expected – and this refers to all of us. [What is] important is that we stay united within the team, and I am very confident about this.”
With three races to go in the 2010 campaign, Schumacher sits ninth in the drivers' standings.