Schumacher gears up for F1 return

Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is gearing himself up to take on the likes of Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and his old adversary Fernando Alonso, as the German chases his eighth world title in 2010.

Schumacher returns "for some serious stuff"  following a three-year retirement after signing a three-year deal with Mercedes GP.

The seven-time world champion said: "There will be strong competition, but I am absolutely thrilled to be back, and right in the middle of it. I'm very motivated, thrilled and excited, and that's what counts."

Schumacher knows he is putting his reputation on the line, that of a man who won 91 grands prix, claimed 68 poles and 76 fastest laps - all records - from his 249 races over 16 seasons from 1991 to 2006.

He insists there is fire in his belly again, one that had died when he decided to call it a day at the end of 2006, despite a mesmerising drive in Brazil on his final outing.

And Schumacher is intent on proving he is back for the long haul, not just a one-season dabble to see if he can still cut the mustard.

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