Mercedes continue development in Jerez

Michael Schumacher continued the build-up to his eagerly awaited return to Formula 1 racing with another days testing in Jerez.

The seven-time world champion, who returns to competitive racing after over three years of retirement in Bahrain on 14th March, completed 111 laps at the wheel of the MGP W01.

Further wet weather over the Spanish circuit disrupted action and, as in last week's test, Mercedes had to adapt their programme to suit the changing conditions. Schumacher began the day running on wet tyres, switching to intermediates has a dry line emerged later in the morning. A long run on dry tyres was possible during the early afternoon before more rain soaked the track.

Schumacher was frustrated by the intermittent showers, but although he only managed to finish the day sixth fastest, the German was pleased with the reliability and performance of the car. “The weather was really changing all the time today which made it difficult to follow our planned programme and to have a clear picture of everyone's performance. From the laps that we achieved, we have again confirmed the reliability of the car, and from the impressions and data gathered, we can say that the pace and performance looks very good. We have a strong basis to keep up the development this week here in Jerez and next week at the final test in Barcelona.”

Nico Rosberg will take over testing duties for Mercedes tomorrow.