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Monday 11 December 2017

Only one target for Schumacher after Brawn reunion

Listen to Michael Schumacher since he confirmed just prior to Christmas he would be making a comeback and you continually hear words such as "motivated" and "driven".

At the age of 41, it would be a risk for Schumacher to be any other way because Formula One is not a sport in which you can be half-hearted, certainly not after spending three years in retirement.

Certainly Ross Brawn is delighted to be reunited with Schumacher, the Mercedes GP team principal previously playing such a distinct role in creating the legend who has won seven world titles and 91 grands prix.

Their early bond was formed at Benetton where Schumacher won his first two championships in 1994 and 1995, and cemented at Ferrari where Brawn was the master tactician behind the five titles that followed.

No one understands Schumacher -- his psyche, his methods -- better than Brawn, and it would appear time has far from withered the German's senses as to what he requires and what is required to win again.

After the first day of testing together in Valencia, Brawn noted: "What came through was Michael's precision about what's going on in the car, what he wants and what he feels is needed.

"He has great clarity of reasoning in what he does, what he feels and what he thinks should be the direction we take or changes to come."

There is no doubt the combination of Schumacher and Brawn is one that will be fully respected by all the other drivers and teams.

Mercedes acquired a 45.1pc stake in last year's title winners after a takeover of Brawn at the end of the season. The return of the German giant as a fully fledged team for the first time since 1955 is a welcome tonic for the sport, but no guarantee of success.

Schumacher is also adamant no lingering doubts remain over a neck injury sustained in a bike accident a year ago that wrecked the comeback dream with Ferrari last August.

"I feel fresh, good, motivated, and as Ross and I know each other so well, it has made things very easy," said Schumacher.

"With Ross' experience, with what the team did last year, having Mercedes as a team in itself with the experience, know-how and quality they possess, as well as myself, then, I'm sorry, there's only one target."

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