Schumacher Returns to Mercedes Cockpit On Test Day Three

Michael Schumacher returned to the cockpit of the new Mercedes Grand Prix W01 for his first full day of testing in a current F1 car since he announced his return to the sport.

Having sat out yesterday while teammate Nico Rosberg worked on the car, he 41-year-old worked through a program that encompassed both general set-up work and the all important long runs. Schumacher's fastest lap was 1:12.438, the third fastest time of the day as Ferrari topped the time sheets again.

“I'm very happy to have been back in a Formula One car this week,” Schumacher says. “We had a short run on Monday and then almost a full day today which has been good. The experience has been very positive and the car is running smoothly.”

However, the German's comeback ended prematurely in the afternoon after only 82 laps, a minor hydraulic problem bringing the car back to the garage with an hour remaining of the session.

“The main focus is on reliability and doing as many laps as we can so we're not too worried about looking at the lap times right now. It's a new challenge and a new experience for me this year but knowing Ross so well and working with him again has made it very easy and I feel at home in the team already. I'm feeling fresh and motivated and very positive about the season ahead.”

The day brought the number of laps the team have completed this week to 280. The team will next test at Jerez in the second F1 group test in a week's time.