Michael Schumacher is taking no risks when it comes to preparing for his F1 return with the emergent Mercedes team. 

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday) he will begin an intensive three day test at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain, strapped firmly into the cockpit not of a Silver Arrows, but one of the Super Nova GP2 team’s Dallara-Renaults.

Not until the official round of designated pre-season tests begin next month can the 41-year old seven times world champion get back behind the wheel of a contemporary F1 car, but such is the need for him to maximise every aspect of his preparation that he has decided to get back on track as early as possible. It is absolutely typical of Michael’s meticulous attention to detail and refusal to leave anything to chance that he has decided to try this GP2 machine.

It is a shrewd move also because the general lack of F1 testing is one of the only areas which could put Schumacher at a slight disadvantage. And as Ross Brawn pointed out recently, maximising every opportunity is the absolute key to getting the best – and the most – out of Schumacher for whom there is unlikely to be much realistic F1 future beyond his three-year tenure with Mercedes.