Sport – Schumacher looks quick on final day of GP2 test
LONDON: Michael Schumacher showed he still had an impressive turn of speed on the final day of a GP2 development test at Jerez in southern Spain Day in Pics: January 13
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ahead of his Formula One comeback at the age of 41.
Organisers said on Thursday the German seven times world champion, who will be racing for Mercedes more than three years after he retired as a Ferrari driver, lapped with a best time of one minute 24.621 in the private test.
That was just four tenths slower than the GP2 track record of 1:24.262 set by Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi in 2008. GP2 is the grand prix support series that serves as a stepping stone to Formula One.
According to the Jerez circuit website (www.circuitodejerez.com), Schumacher holds the outright Jerez track record of 1:15.650 set in Formula One testing for Ferrari in 2004.
“I am very happy with the way testing went here,” he said in a statement. “We could do everything we had scheduled to do. I feel fit, I felt comfortable immediately back in the car.”
Organisers said he had completed 1,151 km over the three days, with 130 laps on Thursday alone.
David Sears, who runs the Super Nova GP2 team, had no doubts about Schumacher’s form.
“I would say the guy is fitter, more intelligent and quicker than most of the other drivers,” he told the Autosport International show in Birmingham, England. “And at 41 he is going to demonstrate that again.”
Schumacher is not allowed to drive a current Formula One car until the first official pre-season test in Valencia, eastern Spain, on Feburary 1.
The German has taken the place of world champion Jenson Button at Mercedes (formerly Brawn) after retiring at the end of 2006 with a record 91 race wins.
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