Michael Schumacher says that Spa is 'clearly the number one race track in the world' as the Mercedes man prepares to make his 300th F1 appearance at the Belgian venue next weekend.

Spa has a special place in Schumacher's career, being the venue where he made his F1 debut with Jordan and also where he secured his first win with Benetton.

After a difficult season so far, Schumacher will hope for a strong result again in Belgium this time around with the German saying he was fully focused on a strong race.

"Spa is like my living room; for me, it's clearly the number one race track in the world. It's uncanny how I always seem to have special moments there - my debut, my first win, a world championship victory and many great races. The fact that I will also take part in my 300th Grand Prix at Spa was somehow almost inevitable and we will have to celebrate it in the right way.

"I'm proud to be just the second driver in the history of the sport to reach this milestone and there's no question that we are looking to have a particularly nice weekend. We delivered a good performance in Spa last year; I'll be doing everything possible to drive a strong race."

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn said it would be a special weekend for Schumacher at Spa, adding that the team had done what it could over the summer break to improve its car.

"The summer break has given everyone at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth some time to relax and recharge the batteries before the intense second half of the season begins," he said. "Although there have only been a few working days to make improvements around the shutdown period, we have been working hard towards our aim of an improved performance in the second half of the season.

"Spa is one of the real classic circuits which is much loved by drivers, engineers and the fans. It's a great circuit to watch the cars, and you're almost guaranteed an exciting weekend with varied weather thrown into the mix. For the second year in succession,

"Spa will be a special occasion for Michael and the team as we follow his 20th anniversary last year by celebrating his 300th Grand Prix this time around. It is a fantastic achievement which has so far only been matched by one other driver, and we look forward to celebrating with him, and hopefully a strong weekend."

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