Schumacher says he will have to develop a “good feeling” for his tyres

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Formula One racing ace Michael Schumacher has been talking about the importance of developing a “good feeling” for his tyres ahead of his return to the sport next Sunday.

The seven-time world champion agrees that with the new no-refueling during races ban, saving tyres will play a key role in race strategy.

Schumacher, who is driving for Mercedes – which has taken over last season’s championship-winning Brawn GP – said: “You will have less sets of tyres available than last year which makes it harder to do what you need to do for setting up the car perfectly.

“But driving is always about adapting to new circumstance, and this is one of my strong points.

“I would say the biggest difference are the tyres. You will have to develop a good feeling for them.”

Schumacher says he expects a long and hard fight for the Formula One title and believes finishing the season well will be more important than getting off to a good start.

The German driver, who is coming out of retirement to race for the first time in three years, revealed on his website that he is travelling to this weekend’s season opener in Bahrain with confidence.

However the 41-year-old German cautioned that the Mercedes GP car might not be in a position to win from the start.

“I said it quite clear from the beginning: we do not have to – and probably will not – be in the position to win right from the start,” he said.

“It is important to be close and then use the long season to be at the top at the end. It is not the start which is important; it is the finish.”

Alex Kapadia, Operations Team

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