Michael Schumacher will be blowing out the 41 candles on his birthday cake today.
But his strict training regime will probably mean that he may not be able to eat much of it, despite his notoriously sweet tooth! He is set to drive for the first time four weeks from now in Valencia.
The seven times world champion is building up to a dramatic comeback at the Bahrain Grand Prix and according to Bild and Gazetta dello Sport he will have limited time to test the Mercedes car before the first event. As it’s Sunday I’ve not been able to call the team to verify, but I will do so.
The schedule calls for just four tests and Bild reckons that these are as follows:
February 1-3 in Valencia
February 10-13 in Jerez
February 17-20 in Jerez
February 25 to 28 in Barcelona
These are all one car tests so the driving will have to be shared with Nico Rosberg. There are a total of 15 days, which means, assuming reasonable reliability, both drivers should notch up somewhere around 2,000 miles of testing before the first race. Mercedes boss Norbert Haug is quoted as saying, “The tests will be divided equally between the two drivers.”
Incidentally, I’m interested to see what Mercedes will call this car. What will the type designation be? All previous Mercedes Grand Prix cars started with a “W” – as in W154. Perhaps the W110 – to designate F1 and the year 2010? More details will emerge this month, meanwhile the FOTA group launch idea has been shelved.