• Bahrain Grand Prix

Schumacher admits to being a bit 'rusty'

ESPNF1 Staff
March 12, 2010 « McLaren pair struggling with tyre wear | »
Michael Schumacher limbering up before practice © Getty Images

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Michael Schumacher admitted he is still "a little rusty" on his first day back in Formula One, after spending three years in retirement.

Schumacher was outpaced by his younger team-mate Nico Rosberg in both practice sessions and was quite clearly struggling to find a good set-up early on. He said that he expects to struggle for qualifying pace this weekend but was happy with the car over longer runs.

"We worked very well this afternoon after having a few issues with the balance this morning," said Schumacher. "The car felt much better in the second session although I am still a little rusty on one lap runs and need to get back into the routine. On the long runs, the car felt good and once you get into the rhythm, it feels very natural. I'm happy with our work today and feeling ready for the weekend."

His team-mate Rosberg set the fastest lap of the first day but did not draw attention to the headline time, instead focussing on the good work he completed on heavy fuel.

"We improved the car over the course of the day but it didn't feel great initially with the new track, lower downforce and the conditions were very sandy this morning," he said. "So we had a few balance issues to work on but it came together very well this afternoon. There are areas where we can still improve but we have a good comparison with the tyre compounds and on the long runs. Overall we learnt a great deal today so it's a positive start to the weekend."