Mike Stevens | Jan 26, 2010

FORMULA 1 LEGEND Michael Schumacher believes Mercedes Grand Prix can provide him with the platform to mount a strong challenge for the 2010 World Championship.

Speaking to the media following the official unveiling of Mercedes’ new livery, Schumacher said his main goal with the German outfit is to clinch an eighth world crown.

However, the 41-year-old admitted there is a vast gulf between merely targeting a championship and actually achieving it.

"I think we have everything it takes to do it," he said. "It's one thing to have all the ingredients to be able to cook it up but it's another thing to have a good result.

"I believe with the experience Ross has, with what we did last year, having Mercedes as the team itself, with all the experience and the know-how and the quality they have, on top of myself... I'm sorry but there's only one target. But it's one thing to have a target and another thing to achieve it."

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After completing a GP2 test at Jerez earlier in the month, Schumacher will take the next step in his comeback preparations when he gets behind the wheel of the Silver Arrows at Valencia next week.

Schumacher is confident his much publicised neck injury, which forced him to withdraw from a planned comeback with Ferrari last year, will not flare when placed under the strain of F1.

"I have no issues with the neck. I've done the GP2 test and lots of preparation in the winter, lots of check to make sure all is good," he said.

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Schumacher will share testing duties with fellow Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who has been symbolically awarded the role of completing the first ever laps driven in the team's new car.

"Nico will start with the car," team boss Ross Brawn said. "What we want to try and do is give both drivers a drive on the first day. The first day is about checking the car and inspecting all the pieces - and there will be several strip downs of critical parts.

"So during that period we will swap drivers and we want both drivers to get a run in the car on the first day to give us their impressions. Nico will probably do the second day and Michael the third day. But it will be split on the first day."

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