Michael Schumacher was on the pace during his final test in a GP2 car at Jerez this week. The 41 year-old seven-time F1 world champion recorded a best lap of 1:24.6 on slick tyres which is just 4/10ths slower than the Spanish circuit’s GP2 lap record, set by Kamui Kobayashi in 2008.

According to the Jerez circuit website, Schumacher holds the outright track record at the circuit with a time of 1:15.650 set in Formula One testing for Ferrari in 2004.

Schumacher was using this week’s GP2 test as a ‘warm-up’ for his return to F1 this year, getting used to driving a single-seat race car again by completing 1,151 km over the three days, with 130 laps on Thursday alone.

“I feel fit, I felt comfortable immediately back in the car –- hey, let’s go for it!” the German was quoted as saying.

Michael Schumacher completes a successful GP2 test at Jerez

The best time of the recent F1 test held at Jerez was a 1:17.3, set by Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, but some of the slower runners were in the low 1:20s. Schumacher’s 1:24.6 in a GP2 car, meanwhile, would have seen him comfortably qualify for the last grand prix held at Jerez.

David Sears, who runs the Super Nova GP2 team, had no doubts about Schumacher’s form.

“I would say the guy is fitter, more intelligent and quicker than most of the other drivers,” he told journalists at the Autosport International show in Birmingham, England. “And at 41 he is going to demonstrate that again.”

Schumacher will get to drive a current Formula One car at the first official pre-season test in Valencia, on Feburary 1, and I wouldn’t bet against him being near the top of the time-sheets straight away.

Pictures: Brawn GP