Michael Schumacher is ready to scrap his way to this year's Formula One world title.
The most successful driver in the history of the sport is poised to make his comeback to grand prix racing after nearly three-and-a-half years away.
Schumacher has so far delivered mixed messages on whether he feels the Mercedes he will be driving this year is good enough for race wins, starting in Bahrain on Sunday.
But the 41-year-old German is adamant he is prepared to battle his way to glory again and add to his seven world championships.
Asked if he was ready to fight for the title, Schumacher replied: 'Absolutely, yes. This is what I am here for. I am confident we can play a role in this fight. Our entire team is extremely motivated, as am I.
'The guys won both titles last year (as Brawn GP), and now with Mercedes on board, they want to repeat this success. The season will be long and hard, no doubt about that, but I love this fight. It is because of this fight that I came back to Formula One.'
Schumacher has also dismissed suggestions people are expecting too much of him in believing he can win the title this year.
'I said it quite clear from the beginning, we do not have to - and probably will not - be in a position to win right from the start,' added Schumacher on his personal website.
'It is important to be close and then use the long season to be at the top at the end. It is not the start which is important - it is the finish.'